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How To Read And Interpret A Nutrition Label

A nutrition label is a summary of the nutrients in a food product. It is required on most packaged foods in the United States, and is also found on some restaurant menus. The nutrition label provides information about the calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, sugar, sodium, cholesterol, and vitamins and minerals in a serving of the food. It also includes a percentage daily value (%DV) for each nutrient, which is a way of comparing the nutrient content of a food to the recommended daily intake for that nutrient. The nutrition label is divided into two main sections: the nutrient list and the %DV column. The nutrient list includes the following nutrients:

  • Calories

  • Total fat

  • Saturated fat

  • Trans fat

  • Cholesterol

  • Sodium

  • Carbohydrates

  • Dietary fiber

  • Sugars

  • Protein

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin C

  • Calcium

  • Iron

The %DV column shows the percentage of the recommended daily intake of each nutrient in a serving of the food. The %DV is based on a 2,000-calorie diet. For example, if a food has 10% of the DV for calcium, that means that a serving of the food provides 10% of the calcium that an adult needs in a day. The nutrition label is a valuable tool for making healthy food choices. By reading the label, you can learn about the nutrient content of a food and make informed decisions about what to eat. Here are some tips for using the nutrition label:

  • Look at the serving size. The serving size is the amount of food that is used to calculate the nutrient information on the label. Make sure that you are comparing the nutrient information for the same serving size when you are comparing different foods.

  • Pay attention to the %DV. The %DV is a way of comparing the nutrient content of a food to the recommended daily intake for that nutrient. A food with a high %DV for a nutrient means that it is a good source of that nutrient. A food with a low %DV for a nutrient means that it is not a good source of that nutrient.

  • Choose foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars. These nutrients are linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and obesity.

  • Choose foods that are high in dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. These nutrients are important for good health.

The nutrition label is a valuable tool for making healthy food choices. By reading the label, you can learn about the nutrient content of a food and make informed decisions about what to eat.

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