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What Are Facts To Check On A Product’s Nutrition Label?

Mon, Apr 12, 2021

The label for Nutrition Facts in case of packaged foods was updated in the year 2016 by the FDA and has been updated periodically for reflecting scientific data that is updated. This includes data about the connection between diets and chronic ailments such as heart diseases and obesity. The updated labels will make it easier for buyers to make better decisions regarding their chosen food products. Those manufacturers who have $10 million or higher in annual sales figures are needed to update labels by 1st January 2020. Those with sales lower than this threshold have to update by 1st January 2021. Those producing single ingredient sugars including maple syrup or honey will have time till 1st July 2021, for updating their labels.

Here are some facts that you should check on the nutrition label for any product:

  • Serving Size - The serving size and number of servings should be noted. Compare portion size to the serving size listed here. If you are consuming two cups and the serving size is a cup, then you are receiving twice the fat, calories, and other nutrients than the listing.
  • Calorie Count - Always check out the total count of calories in one serving.
  • Percent Daily Values (DV) - The percent daily values will help you assess how any particular food item can fit into your regular meal plan. Percent DV works for the whole day and not a single snack or meal. Daily values are average levels for nutrients in case of those consuming 2,000 calories each day. An item with 5% DV for fat will offer 5% of total fat consumed by a person each day (those consuming 2,000 calories daily). You may require less or more than 2,000 calories each day. You may require more or less than 100% DV for some nutrients. Low is 5% or even lower. Aim for lower in case of trans and saturated fats, sodium, and cholesterol. High is 20% or even more and you should aim for this percentage in the case of fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
  • Nutrition Terms - 40 calories or lower per serving is truly fewer calories while low cholesterol is 20 milligrams or lesser. This is also indicated by 2 grams or lesser for saturated fat in each serving. 25% less of the particular calories or nutrients than the regular product is reduced. Any nutrient is a good source when it offers 10-19% of the daily value of any particular nutrient/vitamin for each serving. Excellent source means 20% of the daily value as mentioned earlier. Calorie-free is less than 5 calories in each serving. Less than ½ gram of sugar/fat per serving means sugar or fat-free. Low sodium is 140 milligrams or lowers in each serving. High in denotes 20% or higher for the daily value of any particular nutrient in each serving.
  • Take added nutrients into account - A percentage DV is not needed on nutrition labels for protein. Eat moderate amounts of eggs, fish, poultry, meats, yogurt, low-fat milk, and cheese along with peanut butter, peas, beans, and soy products. Consume whole-grain bread, rice, cereals, pasta, vegetables, and fruits. There are three carbohydrate types, i.e. starches, fiber, and sugars. Simple carbohydrates or sugars are found naturally in lactose and fructose or refined sources like corn syrup or sucrose. Added sugars will be included in updated Nutrition Facts labels. Do not consume more than 10% of regular calories from these added sugars.

Those items with more than one ingredient should have a list of ingredients on this label. They should be placed based on the weight in descending order. The biggest amounts will be given on top.