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reading food label nutrition facts

Reading the Food Label

Right now, you may be seeing two different food labels when you are shopping. This is because an updated label was approved. You'll start seeing it more and more on your favorite foods! There are many similarities and a few differences.


Top Four Things to Look For On the Food Label

  1. Serving Size
  2. Calories
  3. Nutrients to Get More Often
  4. Nutrients to Get Less Often

Serving Size

This amount varies from food to food, and on the updated label, reflects the amount usually eaten at one time. The numbers on the Nutrition Facts label are based on a single serving! The serving size may not always be the servings per container (even for smaller packages, like bags of chips or pretzels), so keep an eye on your portions.

Calories

On the updated label, you’ll notice that the Calories are shown larger than other sections. Calories represent the amount of energy from a serving of that food item. For a healthy body weight, calories that you take in should balance with calories that you use. Choosemyplate.gov’s MyPlatePlan is a great resource for finding out your personal calorie needs! These can vary based on age, gender, physical activity level, and more.

Nutrients to Get More Often

Foods and beverages not only taste great, but they can contain important nutrients to keep you and your family healthy! Look for foods that have dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium. Most of us do not get enough of these important nutrients each day. Vitamin D and potassium are new additions on the updated label.

Nutrients to Get Less Often

On the updated labels, you’ll notice a new section: added sugars. This will tell you how much sugar has been added to the food or beverage. Eat less foods and beverages with added sugars, saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium, as too many of these nutrients could lead to poorer health.

Additional Nutrition Facts Label Resources We Recommend

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