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Label Reading 101. BREAKING DOWN THE NUTRITION FACTS LABEL The Nutrition Facts Label gives a lot of information but the key is to know how to use it to.

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Presentation on theme: "Label Reading 101. BREAKING DOWN THE NUTRITION FACTS LABEL The Nutrition Facts Label gives a lot of information but the key is to know how to use it to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Label Reading 101

2 BREAKING DOWN THE NUTRITION FACTS LABEL The Nutrition Facts Label gives a lot of information but the key is to know how to use it to help you make healthy food choices.


4 HOW LABELS CAN BE DECEIVING: Unrealistic serving sizes Servings per container – example: more than one serving per container Packaging Listing an amount and then having a “ * ” - example: dry cereal or cereal with 2% milk.

5 LABEL DECEPTION EXAMPLE SERVING SIZE Servings Size: 6 chips Servings per Container: 20 Calories: 130 (x20) Total Fat: 6 grams (x20)

6 SERVING SIZE The Nutrition Facts are all based around the listed recommended serving size. Servings per container – This is the number of servings you will get from the container based on the serving size listed. For example, if a food has 2 servings per container and you eat the whole container, you would be eating two servings: so double all the values on the label. It is always important to look at these numbers because you may be eating more than you think.

7 CALORIES This is the amount of calories per serving (based on the serving size listed). Calorie needs are based on the individual. To find out your personal calorie needs, visit Eating more calories than you need will cause weight gain.

8 PERCENT DAILY VALUE Shows the amount of each of the nutrients listed on the label which are needed daily in a 2000 calorie diet. This is the percentage of each nutrient recommended to meet the needs of the average person each day.

9 PERCENT DAILY VALUE 5% or less is considered “low” (choose foods low fat, low cholesterol, low sodium). 10-19% is considered a “good” source. 20% or more is considered “high” (choose food high in fiber, vitamin A, C, calcium, and iron).

10 ITEMS TO LIMIT Saturated Fat – A diet high in saturated fat increases the risk for coronary artery disease. Choose a food with 3 grams or less of saturated fat. Trans Fat – A diet high in trans fat has shown to increase cholesterol levels, which increases risk of heart disease. Look for foods with 0 grams trans fat. Foods with 0.5 grams or less can list 0 grams. If a food has the words “Partially Hydrogenated Oil”, “Shortening”, and “Hydrogenated Oil” in the ingredient list, it contains trans fat.

11 ITEMS TO LIMIT Cholesterol – this is found in organ meats, dairy products, shrimp, and egg yolks. Limit intake to 300 mg/day. Use foods with 5% or less of saturated fats and cholesterol and avoid those with over 20% of the daily value. Sodium – this is a nutrient that helps regulate blood pressure and fluid balance, which most people consider “salt”. The Recommended Daily Allowance for sodium is 2400 milligrams per day (one teaspoon).

12 ITEMS TO LIMIT Sugars – these can be from natural or artificial sources. There are no daily reference values for sugar, but the American Heart Association recommends to consume no more than 100 calories (6 teaspoons) a day from added sugars. Look for the following words in the ingredient list to indicate added sugar: SucroseGlucose FructoseLactose DextroseMaltose Generally any words with the suffix –ose Honey Maple Syrup High Fructose Corn Syrup Syrup MolassesBrown SugarEvaporated Cane Juice Corn SyrupAgave Syrup or Nectar

13 GET ENOUGH OF THESE Dietary Fiber – this is the amount of ingestible bulk from plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, oats, nuts and seeds. Foods high in fiber are shown to be beneficial for weight control, diabetes, high cholesterol, and some forms of cancer. Foods with 5 grams or more are considered “high fiber” foods. Adequate intake of fiber is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men.

14 GET ENOUGH OF THESE Vitamins and Minerals – these are the micronutrients measured in percentages. The goal is to consume 100% of each of these nutrients daily to prevent nutrition related diseases.

15 LABEL CLAIMS “Low Calorie” – less than 40 calories per serving. “Low Cholesterol” – less than 20 mg of cholesterol and 2 gm or less of saturated fat per serving. “Calorie Free” – less than 5 calories per serving. “Fat Free” or “Sugar Free” – less than ½ gram of fat or sugar per serving. “No Trans Fat or 0g Trans Fat” – less than ½ gram (0.5g) of trans fat per serving. “Low Sodium” – less than 140 mg of sodium per serving. “Very Low Sodium” – contains 35 mg or less sodium per serving.

16 OTHER LABEL CLAIMS “High Fiber” – contains 5 or more grams of fiber per serving. “No Added Sugar” – means no sugar has been added to the product, but the food may have calories and naturally occurring sugars. “Reduced” – means the product is at least 25% lower in the nutrient (i.e. sugar, calories, sodium, fat) per serving than the comparable regular food. This does not mean that the food is necessarily “low” or “free” of a certain nutrient.

17 OTHER LABEL CLAIMS “Light” – 1/3 fewer calories or ½ the fat of the normal food. “Healthy” – decreased fat, saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol and at least 10% of the daily value of Vitamin A, C, Iron, protein, Calcium, and fiber. “Lean” – Meat, poultry, or seafood with 10 grams of fat or less, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per serving.

18 SUMMARY The food label carries a great deal of information that will help you select a healthful diet. The food label will not answer all of the questions about how foods fit into a healthful diet, but it is a good way to sort out what foods you should eat frequently, and which foods should be eaten sparingly. Use the label to make nutrient rich choices for good health.

19 RESOURCES Shopping/Reading-Food-Nutrition-Labels_UCM_300132_Article.jsp

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