Eating Well As You Get Older
Frequently Asked Questions
13. What does the Nutrition Facts label on packaged and canned foods tell me?
The Nutrition Facts label on food packages and canned goods tells you the serving size, how many servings per container, calories, calories per serving and which nutrients the food provides. You can use it to help you keep track of how much fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, cholesterol, sugars, and calories you are getting from different foods.
The Nutrition Facts label also provides the Percent Daily Value (% Daily Value) for nutrients. It tells you what percentage of the recommended daily amount of a nutrient is in one serving of the food, based on the nutritional needs of a person eating 2,000-calories a day.
For example, on this label for macaroni and cheese, the Percent Daily Value for total fat is 18%. This means that one serving of macaroni and cheese (1 cup) will give you 18 percent of the total amount of fat you should allow yourself each day, assuming you eat about 2,000 calories daily.
Keep in mind that the calories, and nutrient amounts, and percentages listed in the Nutrition Facts are for one serving only. The package might contain two or more servings. If you eat two servings, you would consume twice the calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates, protein, etc., as you would for one serving.