Nutrition Label Guide
This defines what a single serving is for the product. All of the remaining information in the Nutrition Facts Panel (calories and nutrients) is based on the serving size. If you eat more than one serving, you're also getting more of the other items on the label. This is especially important to consider when you're counting calories or watching fat intake.
This is the number of calories in a single serving. If you eat more than one serving, you're eating more calories. Calories represent the energy we get from food. We need a certain amount every day, but eating more than your body needs in a day can result in weight gain.
Percent Daily Value
The FDA recommends specific amounts of certain nutrients each day. Use % DV to see what and how much you're getting from what you're eating. It can help you to track, raise or lower your intake of particular nutrients as needed. You can also use % DV to compare similar foods and determine which is more nutritious for you.
Saturated and trans fats are the "bad guys," so look for foods that contain little or none. Both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are the "good guys" when eaten in moderation. With regard to trans fat, a food can list 0 grams trans fat if it has less than 0.5 grams per serving, which can still add up if you're eating more than one serving. Also, be sure to check the ingredient list for hydrogenated fats and oils.
Less is better with sodium. It can raise blood pressure, contribute to bloating and may even leach calcium from the bones. The FDA recommends limiting your sodium to 2,400 milligrams, based on a 2,000 calorie/day diet.
This number encompasses dietary fiber and sugars. Carbs are the body's main energy source.