Understanding Food Labels | Nutrition Facts Labels

fact Nutrition Facts labels can be

intimidating especially when they're

faxed once to read look at percentages

and do math when you're just trying to

eat not to mention ingredient lists that

are solid paragraph and our half filled

with words that you don't even know it's

way easier to just eat let's make it

more simple more straight-up facts about

nutrition facts a quick overview the

Nutrition Facts label is a label that is

required on most packaged foods the Food

and Drug Administration breaks it down

into four sections serving information

calories nutrients and percentage of

daily value serving information will

tell you how many total servings are in

the package or container and what is

considered one single serving now listen

close this is important all of the

information below the serving section

reflects only one serving not the whole

container so if you're eating multiple

servings you're going to have to do some

math if you want to figure out exactly

what you're eating serving sizes are not

recommendations but they're supposed to

be standardized so that we can compare

similar foods the serving size will be

listed in cups or pieces as well as its

metric amount usually grams if you

actually measured out what a single

serving was of some of the things you

eat you might be surprised at how little

it actually is it may be very different

of what you actually eat of that food or

product some food and drink products

also look like they would just be a

single serving but they actually contain

multiple servings on the Nutrition Facts

label I would personally try to be aware

of two things for this section of a food

label one it is often easy to eat or

drink more than a single serving to some

food and drink products that seemed like

they would be a single serving often

contain multiple servings

second section on a Nutrition Facts

label is calories calories are simply

just a measurement of energy from food

most should know by now that consuming

excess calories is linked to being

overweight a very general guide states

that people should be consuming around

2,000 calories a day but it is only a

guide and it's not perfect in reality

how many calories you should be

consuming a day largely depends on your

age height weight sex and physical

activity levels someone who is

overweight and is trying to lose weight

may choose to count their calories or

reduce their total calories they have

per day where someone with high amounts

of physical activity may need additional

calories to replace the ones they burn

referring to calories on nutrition

labels is dependent on personal

characteristics and their health goals

meaning some people may always want to

look at how many calories they're eating

and others may not ever worry about it

the third section on a food label is

nutrients as you might have guessed this

has to do with essential nutrients and

the amounts that are found in the food

or drink while food labels do not divide

carbohydrates by simple and complex they

do list total carbohydrates and further

separate them by dietary fiber good

total sugar and added sugar bad

similarly you will find fat listed as

total and then divided by saturated and

trans fat bad as well as monounsaturated

and polyunsaturated good you will also

find cholesterol the common mineral

sodium just salt and protein lastly you

will find additional vitamins and

minerals contained in the product listed

as their percentage of daily value and

sometimes listed in milligrams as well

my recommended uses for the nutrients

section is to check for and limit

consumption of products that are high in

trans fats and saturated fats and sugars

especially added sugars the last section

on a Nutrition Facts label is the

percentage of daily value it shows the

percentage of the daily value for each


what does that mean the FDA states that

5% or less of daily value is considered

low and 20% or more of your daily value

is high so if you eat something that

contains 40% of your daily value in fat

then that food product has very high

levels of fat to be completely honest I

don't know too many people who pay close

attention to percentage of daily value

and I personally don't after some

practice and habit you might start to

notice some trends in the metric amounts

of nutrients example being something

with 4 grams of sugar is very different

than 40 grams of sugar so you'll start

to understand how many grams of sugar or

fat or calories is on the low end the

medium or the high end some nutrients

are not even listed with the percentage

of daily value and that presents its own

problems but that may need to be a video

of its own the final thing I want to

bring up is not technically part of a

Nutrition Facts label but it falls in

the same place on food products

ingredients while we go over tips for

making quick and simple uses of food

labels I think it's also important to

touch on how ingredient lists work if

you didn't know this next thing it's

pretty big ingredient lists are ordered

by weight or by what the product

contains them most so whatever comes

first that product has the most and

whatever is last it has the least so

here's some simple rules to make

healthier choices for ingredient lists

if a product has a whole paragraph of

ingredients it's more likely that it's

highly processed if the ingredient list

is much shorter it's likely that it's

less processed the more you know what

the ingredients are or where they come

from is another hint that it's probably

less processed sugars and preservatives

often have names that sound pretty


if sugar a type of syrup or anything

that ends in o's OSE like fructose

glucose or dextrose is one of the first

three ingredients it means that that

food or drink is probably pretty sweet

and has a lot of sugar keep in mind that

some people may use Nutrition Facts

labels more in depth or more

specifically if they have special

dietary needs but if you're just

learning to use them to start eating

healthier remember the difference

between servings per container and

serving size try to look around for food

and drink products that have less total

ingredients and have listed ingredients

that are understandable to you but do

your best to find food and drinks that

limit unhealthy fats and carbohydrates

or added sugars and have higher amounts

of healthful nutrients like fiber

protein and healthy fats you don't have

to read a label every time you want to

drink or eat something but I encourage

you to start checking out the Nutrition

Facts labels of the things you eat and

drink frequently just out of curiosity

let me know if you found this helpful

and what you might want to know more of

those are the facts straight up