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How to Read Nutrition Facts Labels

Posted: Nov 29, 2018


How to Read Nutrition Facts Labels

The nutrition facts labels on the side of packaged foods can be confusing and misleading. Check out these tips to help you better decipher what you are purchasing and eating!


Step 1: Serving size


Look at the amount that is listed as one serving. All of the information on the nutrition label pertains to that amount. If you consume more or less than the determined “one serving,” just do some quick and simple math to each nutrient to determine the proper amounts you are getting. For example, if the listed serving size is 1 cup of cereal and you are eating 2 cups, all you have to do is double the grams, milligrams and percentages that are provided for each nutrient.


Step 2: Calories


The number of calories that are found in each serving apply to the amount of energy you will consume when eating that specific amount of food.


Step 3: Daily Value (% DV)


The percent daily value that is shown for some nutrients demonstrates how much would be provided in one serving of the food compared to what is recommended for the entire day. For example, if a serving of crackers contained 24% DV sodium, you would be eating 24% of your daily recommended intake of sodium in that specific amount of crackers.

  • 5% DV is a little: look for 5% or less in nutrients such as sodium, trans fat, saturated fat and added sugars
  • 15% DV is a lot: look for 15% or more in nutrients such as iron, calcium and fibre, vitamin A and vitamin C