People look at food labels because that a variety of reasons. But whatever the reason, many consumers would like to know just how to use this information an ext effectively and easily. The complying with label-reading an abilities are plan to make it much easier for friend to usage the Nutrition facts labels to do quick, educated food decisions to assist you select a healthy and balanced diet.

You are watching: Nutritional labels list only healthy nutrients.

Overview | Serving details | calories | nutrients | The Percent daily Value (%DV) | Nutrition Facts label Variations

For extr resources on the brand-new Nutrition facts label, visit


The information in the key or optimal section (see #1-4) the the sample nutrition brand (below) have the right to vary through each food and also beverage product; it has product-specific info (serving size, calories, and nutrient information). The bottom section consists of a footnote that describes the % day-to-day Value and also gives the variety of calories used for general nutrition advice.

In the following Nutrition Facts label we have colored particular sections to aid you emphasis on those locations that will be described in detail. Note that this colored sections space not on the really food labels of products you purchase.

Sample brand for Frozen Lasagna


back come top

1. Serving info

(#1 top top sample label)


When looking in ~ the Nutrition truth label, first take a look at the variety of servings in the package (servings per container) and also the serving size. Serving sizes space standardized to do it easier to compare comparable foods; lock are detailed in familiar units, together as cup or pieces, followed by the metric amount, e.g., the variety of grams (g). The offer size mirrors the quantity that civilization typically eat or drink. It is no a referral of just how much you should eat or drink.

It’s crucial to realize that all the nutrient quantities shown top top the label, consisting of the number of calories, describe the size of the serving. Pay fist to the offer size, particularly how numerous servings there space in the food package. Because that example, you could ask yourself if you are consuming ½ serving, 1 serving, or more. In the sample label, one offer of lasagna equals 1 cup. If friend ate 2 cups, you would be consuming 2 servings. The is two times the calories and also nutrients displayed in the sample label, so girlfriend would need to dual the nutrient and calorie amounts, and also the %DVs, to check out what you are acquiring in two servings.


One offer of Lasagna


Two offer of Lasagna


Serving Size1 cup 2 cups
Calories280 560
Total Fat9g12%18g24%
Saturated Fat4.5g23%9g46%
Trans Fat0g 0g 
Total Carbohydrate34g12%68g24%
Dietary Fiber4g14%8g29%
Total Sugars6g 12g 
Added Sugars0g0%0g0%
Protein15g 30g 
Vitamin D0mcg0%0mcg0%

back come top

2. Calories

(#2 top top sample label)


Calories carry out a measure up of how much power you acquire from a serving of this food. In the example, there are 280 calories in one serving of lasagna. What if you ate the entire package? Then, you would consume 4 servings, or 1,120 calories.

To accomplish or preserve a healthy body weight, balance the number of calories you eat and also drink with the number of calories your body uses. 2,000 calories a day is used as a general guide because that nutrition advice. Your calorie needs might be greater or lower and also vary depending upon your age, sex, height, weight, and physical task level. Find out your approximated calorie demands at

Remember: The variety of servings girlfriend consume identify the variety of calories you in reality eat. Eat too countless calories per day is attached to overweight and also obesity.

back come top

3. Nutrients

(#3 top top sample label)


Look at ar 3 in the sample label. It shows you some crucial nutrients that influence your health. You have the right to use the brand to support your personal dietary needs – look at for foodstuffs that contain an ext of the nutrients you desire to get an ext of and also less that the nutrients you might want to limit.

Nutrients to acquire less of: saturated Fat, Sodium, and added Sugars.

Saturated fat, sodium, and included sugars room nutrients provided on the brand that might be linked with adverse health results – and also Americans generally consume too much of them, follow to the recommended borders for this nutrients. Lock are identified as nutrients to obtain less of. Eating too lot saturated fat and also sodium, for example, is linked with an boosted risk of arising some wellness conditions, choose cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Consuming too much included sugars can make it tough to meet crucial nutrient demands while staying within calorie limits.

What are included Sugars and also How space they various from total Sugars?

Total Sugars on the Nutrition facts label consists of sugars naturally present in many nutritious foods and also beverages, such as sugar in milk and also fruit and also any added sugars that might be current in the product. No daily Reference Value has actually been developed for complete sugars since no recommendation has actually been made for the complete amount come eat in a day.

Added Sugars top top the Nutrition truth label incorporate sugars that are included during the handling of foods (such as sucrose or dextrose), foodstuffs packaged together sweeteners (such as table sugar), street from syrups and honey, and also sugars from focused fruit or vegetables juices. Diet high in calorie from included sugars have the right to make it challenging to meet everyday recommended levels of essential nutrients while continuing to be within calorie limits.

Note: having the indigenous “includes” before included Sugars ~ above the label suggests that included Sugars are contained in the number of grams of total Sugars in the product.

For example, a container the yogurt with added sweeteners, can list:


This way that the product has 7 grams of included Sugars and 8 grams of naturally arising sugars – for a complete of 15 grams of sugar.

Nutrients come get more of: dietary Fiber, Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, and also Potassium.

Dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron ad potassium room nutrients ~ above the label that Americans generally do not acquire the encourage amount of. They are established as nutrients come get much more of. Eating a diet high in diet fiber deserve to increase the frequency that bowel movements, reduced blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and reduce calorie intake. Diets greater in vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium have the right to reduce the risk of arising osteoporosis, anemia, and high blood pressure.

Remember: You deserve to use the label to support your personal dietary needs—choose foodstuffs that contain an ext of the nutrient you desire to get much more of and also less the the nutrients you might want come limit.

back to top

4. The Percent everyday Value (%DV)

(#4 ~ above sample label)

The % daily Value (%DV) is the percent of the daily Value because that each nutrient in a serving of the food. The everyday Values space reference amounts (expressed in grams, milligrams, or micrograms) of nutrients to consume or not to exceed every day.

The %DV shows just how much a nutrient in a offer of a food contributes to a complete daily diet.

The %DV helps you recognize if a serving of food is high or low in a nutrient.

Do you should know just how to calculation percentages to use the %DV? No, due to the fact that the brand (the %DV) walk the math for you! It helps you analyze the nutrient numbers (grams, milligrams, or micrograms) by putting them every on the same scale because that the day (0-100%DV). The %DV shaft doesn"t add up vertically come 100%. Instead, the %DV is the percentage of the daily Value because that each nutrient in a offer of the food. It have the right to tell friend if a serving of food is high or low in a nutrient and whether a serving of the food contributes a lot, or a little, come your daily diet for each nutrient.

Note: some nutrients ~ above the Nutrition truth label, like complete sugars and trans fat, carry out not have a %DV – they will certainly be disputed later.

General guide to %DV

5% DV or less of a nutrient per serving is considered low20% DV or more of a nutrient every serving is considered high

More often, select foods that are:

Higher in %DV because that Dietary Fiber, Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, and PotassiumLower in %DV for Saturated Fat, Sodium, and included Sugars

Example: Look in ~ the lot of salt in one serving listed on the sample nutrition label. Is %DV of 37% contributing a lot or a small to your diet? examine the General guide to %DV. This product includes 37% DV because that sodium, which mirrors that this is a HIGH sodium product (it has more than 20% DV for sodium). If you consumed 2 servings, the would administer 74% the the DV for sodium – almost three-quarters of an entire day’s precious of sodium.

Compare Foods: use %DV to compare food commodities (remember come make sure the serving size is the same) and an ext often pick products that are higher in nutrients you desire to get more of and also lower in nutrient you want to get less of.

Understand Nutrient content Claims: usage %DV to assist distinguish one case from another, such as "light,” “low,” and also “reduced.” merely compare %DVs in every food product to watch which one is higher or reduced in a details nutrient. There is no have to memorize definitions.

Dietary Trade-Offs: You deserve to use the %DV to assist you make dietary trade-offs through other foods items throughout the day. You don"t have to provide up a favourite food come eat a healthy diet. As soon as a food you choose is high in saturated fat, balance it with foods that space low in saturated fat at various other times the the day. Also, pay fist to just how much you eat throughout the entire day, so the the total amount of saturated fat, and also other nutrients you want to limit, stays listed below 100%DV.

How the daily Values Relate to the %DVs

Look in ~ the example below for another way to see just how the everyday Values (DVs) relate come the %DVs and also dietary guidance. Because that each nutrient noted in the table, over there is a DV, a %DV, and also dietary advice or a goal. If you monitor this dietary advice, you will continue to be within public health and wellness experts" recommended upper or lower limits for the nutrient listed, based on a 2,000-calorie everyday diet.

Examples the DVs matches %DVs

Based on a 2,000 Calorie Diet

Saturated Fat20g=100% DVLess than
Sodium2,300mg=100% DVLess than
Dietary Fiber28g=100% DVAt least
Added Sugars50g=100% DVLess than
Vitamin D20mcg=100% DVAt least
Calcium1,300mg=100% DVAt least
Iron18mg=100% DVAt least
Potassium4,700mg=100% DVAt least

Upper border - Eat "Less than"...

Upper limit way it is recommended that you stay listed below or eat "less than" the everyday Value nutrient amounts provided per day. For example, the DV for saturated fat is 20g. This lot is 100% DV for this nutrient. What is the goal or diet advice? come eat "less than" 20 g or 100%DV every day.

Lower border - Eat "At least"...

The DV for dietary fiber is 28g, i beg your pardon is 100% DV. This way it is recommended the you eat "at least" this lot of diet fiber on many days.

Nutrients there is no a %DV: infectious diseases worldwide Fats, Protein, and also Total Sugars:

Note the Trans fat and also Total Sugars perform not perform a %DV on the Nutrition facts label. Protein just lists a %DV in specific situations provided below.

Trans Fat: Experts can not carry out a reference value for trans fat nor any kind of other information that to trust is sufficient to create a daily Value.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, there is proof that diets higher in trans fat are associated with raised blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol—which, in turn, are connected with an increased threat of occurring cardiovascular disease. Note: many uses of man-made trans fat in the U.S. Food supply have been phased out together of 2018.

Protein: A %DV is compelled to be provided if a claim is made for protein, such together "high in protein." The %DV for protein must additionally be listed on the brand if the product is intended for infants and children under 4 years of age. However, if the product is intended because that the general population 4 years of age and also older and a claim is not made about protein ~ above the label, the %DV for protein is not required.

Current scientific evidence indicates that protein input is not a windy health worry for adults and also children end 4 year of age in the unified States.

Total Sugars: No daily Reference Value has actually been created for total Sugars because no recommendations have been created the full amount to eat in a day. Store in mind that the complete Sugars listed on the Nutrition truth label encompass naturally emerging sugars (like those in fruit and milk) as well as included Sugars.

Nutrition Facts label Variations

Many Nutrition facts labels on the industry will it is in formatted in the same means as the lasagna label that has actually been provided as an instance throughout this page, however there room other styles of the brand that food manufacturers are allowed to use. This last section will current two alternative formats: the dual-column label and also the single-ingredient sugar label.

In addition to dual-column labeling and also single-ingredient sugar labels, there are various other label layouts which girlfriend can discover here.

Dual-Column Labels

For particular products that are larger than a solitary serving however that can be consumed in one sit or lot of sittings, manufacturers will have actually to administer “dual column” labels to show the amounts of calories and also nutrients ~ above both a “per serving” and “per package” or “per unit” basis. The objective of this form of dual-column labeling is to permit people to easily identify how many calories and nutrients they are obtaining if lock eat or drink the whole package/unit in ~ one time. For example, a bag of pretzels v 3 servings per container might have a label that looks prefer this to show you how countless calories and also other nutrients would certainly be in one serving and in one package (3 servings).


Single-Ingredient street labels

Packages and also containers of commodities such together pure honey, pure maple syrup, or packages that pure sugar room not compelled to incorporate a declaration of the number of grams of included Sugars in a offer of the product yet must still include a declaration of the percent everyday Value for added Sugars. Manufacturers space encouraged, however not required, to use the “†” symbol instantly following the included Sugars percent daily Value on single-ingredient sugars, which would result in a footnote explaining the lot of added sugars that one offer of the product contributes come the diet as well as the contribution of a serving of the product toward the percent everyday Value for included Sugars. Single-ingredient sugars and also syrups room labeled in this means so the it does not look like more sugars have actually been added to the product and to ensure the consumers have actually information about how a serving of these products contributes come the daily Value for included sugars and also to their total diet.

See more: Free Spring Sudoku Puzzles, Spring Sudoku For Logic Practice With Kids

Here is an instance of how a brand on a single-ingredient sugar, such together honey, could look.