Information on the Nutrition Facts food label can help you make wise food choices.
* Check the serving size. Use it as a guide to compare products and make better choices. The serving size information tells you how many servings are in one package.
* Look at the calories per serving. You can use the information about calories to compare foods.
* Check the list of ingredients. Ingredients are listed in order by weight.
* If you’re trying to avoid foods with a lot of added sugar, limit foods that list added sugars as the first few ingredients. Other names for added sugars include brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, and syrup.
* If you’re trying to increase your fiber intake, choose foods with a whole grain, such as whole wheat, listed as the first ingredient. Other whole grains are whole oats, oatmeal, whole-grain corn, popcorn, brown rice, whole rye, whole-grain barley, wild rice, buckwheat, triticale, bulgur (cracked wheat), millet, quinoa, and sorghum. You can also increase your fiber intake by eating more vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts.
Comparing foods using the percent (%)
The % Daily Value column (see the purple area in the example label) can help you compare packaged foods. Use this
quick guide to the numbers:
* 5% or less is low.
* 20% or more is high.
For a healthy diet, you want to get enough of these nutrients (see the green area in the example label):
* vitamins A and C
For example, if a cereal has a daily value of 20% for fiber, it’s high in fiber.
That means it’s a wise choice for fiber.
For a healthy diet, you want to limit these (see the gold area in the example label):
* total fat
* saturated fat
* trans fat
You also want to limit added sugars for a healthy diet. Make sure that added sugars are not among the first few items in the list of ingredients.
For example, fat-free milk has a daily value of 1% for cholesterol, meaning it’s low in cholesterol. That means it’s a wise choice if you’re limiting your intake of cholesterol. Fat-free milk is also low in total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat, meaning it’s a wise choice if you’re limiting all of these fats.
Reaching and staying at a healthy weight
To reach and stay at a healthy weight, you need both healthful eating and physical activity. These two strategies work