Unscramble the Nutrition Label
With the abundance of food products available in grocery stores today, the options to make food choices that are better for you are growing. But, do you ever find yourself confused about how to make a choice that is best for you? Knowing how to read the nutrition label can make shopping for nutritious food choices a bit easier!
Facts about the Nutrition Facts Table:
The Nutrition Facts Table can be found on almost all pre-packaged foods in Canada. It provides you with information on the amount of 13 core nutrients and calories found in a certain amount of food, helping you make a nutritious food choice. It can also help you compare food products by using the % Daily Value.
What’s not on the Nutrition Facts Table?
It’s not mandatory for the Nutrition Facts Table to list all vitamins and minerals, unsaturated fat, and starch.
Facts about the Ingredient List:
Reading the ingredient list of pre-packaged foods can also help you make healthier food choices. Ingredients are listed in order of weight, from highest to lowest. That means the food contains more of the ingredients found at the beginning of the list and less of the ingredients found near the end of the list.
Here are five simple steps to help you read the nutrition label:
Step 1: Look at the Serving Size
Compare the serving size on the Nutrition Facts Table to the amount that you eat. If you eat more or less than the serving size on the label, you will get more or less of the nutrients that are listed.
Step 2: Use the % Daily Value
Using the % Daily Value can tell you whether an amount of food has “a little” or “a lot” of a nutrient. Check out the Decode the % Daily Value article for tips on how to use the % Daily Value and compare products.
Step 3: Read the Ingredient List
Taking a look at the ingredient list can you help understand the product beyond the Nutrition Facts Table. Use this guide to get to know ingredients for nutrients that fall under different names.
Step 4: Let the Nestlé Nutrition Compass™ Guide You
As an added bonus, the Nestlé Nutritional Compass™ can help you quickly and easily understand the nutritional benefit of our products and how it can fit into the life of you and your family.
Step 5: Choose a Food that Works for You!
After you’ve completed steps one through four, you will be in a better position to make an informed choice that is best for you and your family.
Good to Know
Practice makes perfect! The Healthy Canadians website has some great interactive tools to help build your confidence in using the nutrition label.
1. Healthy Canadians. Food Labels. June 2013. [Cited November 20, 2013]. Available from: http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/label-etiquetage/index-eng.php