Reading Nutrition Facts: SERVING SIZE
The first place to look when perusing label information is the serving size. Located directly under the “Nutrition Facts” title at the top of the list, it displays the amount of fat, calories and nutrients you’re consuming. Compare the specific amount of food displayed on the label to what you’re actually eating; these portions can be quite different, so calculate accordingly.
Reading Nutrition Facts: % DAILY VALUE
This figure helps you evaluate whether there is a little or a lot of a nutrient in what you are about to consume. For instance, a 10 per cent daily value (DV) of fibre means one serving of that food provides 10 per cent of the fibre you should consume in one day. The quick rule is, five per cent DV or less is a little, and 15 per cent DV or more is a lot. (So look for less than five per cent for something like sodium but over 15 per cent or something like fibre.) Daily values for carbohydrates, total fat, saturated fat and trans fat are based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. Daily values for the remaining nutrients apply to most people, regardless of caloric needs.
Reading Nutrition Facts: CALORIES
In Canada, calories and 13 core nutrients are always listed in the same descending order. The number of calories enumerated lets you know how much energy you will derive from one serving of this food. Keeping the 2,000-calorie-a-day guideline in mind, factor in how many servings of this particular food you should reasonably consume.