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How To Decipher Nutrition Labels 101

Nutrition Facts Label

We as people are not all taught to read the nutrition labels of food and drink items, so when we are dieting, cutting back on calories or even just curious as to what we are ingesting most people don't actually understand what the label is actually saying. Here are a few key information for reading those percentages and what the words mean (based off of a 2,000 calorie intake a day):

  • Find the serving size and the total servings:

  • Serving size: is expressed in ounces (oz) or cups, is found under Nutrition Facts

  • serving size is the actual amount one would eat in one sitting; total servings is implied to multiple amounts that can be used

  • The amount of Calories:

  • Is right under the serving size, tells you how many calories there are total

  • The Percent Daily Value (DV%):

  • Is sandwiched between calories and total fat but on the right side of the label

  • The percentage is a number for the whole day

  • Example: Total Fat 15g (19%), the total fat is contributing to 19% of the 2,000 calories a day.

  • Look at the Nutrition Terms:

  • Low calorie, low cholesterol, low sodium, high in…., fat free, reduced…., sugar free, etc.

For the average 2,000 calorie intake, we want to be eating low in saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium but as well as high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are bodies need. When it is labeled low, it means that it is 5% or lower of the daily value for the whole day. When labeled as high it means that is 20% or higher in the daily value for the whole day. Most labels are set up and designed the same way, but occasionally there are a few that are laid out differently and have extra information included like added sugars, vitamins, minerals, etc. The Chiropractic Office of Dr. Gene Ross hopes that with this information broken down a little bit helps you better understand what you are eating on a day to day basis.

“Decoding the Nutrition Label.” Decoding the Nutrition Label - Unlock Food,

Laseter, Elizabeth. “Here's a Handy Way to Understand Healthy Serving Sizes.” Cooking Light, CookingLight, 8 Apr. 2019,

“The Basics of the Nutrition Facts Label.” EatRight, Barbara Gordon, RDN, LD, 8 Dec. 2017,

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