Reading Food Labels
Look for the “Nutrition Facts” label on packaged foods. Reading labels is a big step toward eating healthier. The tips below help you know what to look for.
Read this closely. This is how to measure 1 serving of the food in the package. If you eat more than 1 serving, you get more of everything on the label—including fat, cholesterol, and calories.
This tells you how many grams (g) of fat are in 1 serving. Fat is high in calories. A healthy goal is to have less than 20% to 35% of your daily calories come from fat.
This tells you how much saturated fat is in 1 serving. Saturated fat raises your cholesterol the most. Look for foods that have little or no saturated fat.
This tells you how much trans fat is in 1 serving. Even a small amount of trans fat can harm your health. Choose foods that have no trans fat.
This tells you how much cholesterol is in 1 serving. Try to eat less than 300 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day.
Calories from fat
This number tells you how many calories from fat are in 1 serving (there are 9 calories per gram of fat). Look for foods with few calories from fat.
% daily value
The higher the number, the more 1 serving has of that nutrient. Look for foods that have low numbers for total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
This tells you how much sodium (salt) is in 1 serving. Choose foods with low numbers for sodium.
This number tells you how much fiber is in 1 serving. Foods that are high in fiber can help you feel full. They can also be good for your heart and digestion. Try to get about 25 grams a day.