How to Read a Nutrition Label?
Nutrition labels state how many calories and nutrients are present in a standard amount of the product. Understanding the nutrition label can help you to make healthier food choices and more informed purchasing decisions.
The key components of a nutrition label are the serving size, calories and percentage of daily value.
1. The serving size is mentioned at the top of a nutrition label. All of the information on the label is based on the serving size. Everyone consumes food in different quantities. Some finish a packet of biscuits in one sitting and some prefer just 2 to 3 biscuits with their tea. Hence we need to ensure that we compare the serving size to the amount that we actually eat.
2. Calories refer to the energy you get from one serving and are denoted as kcal or simply cal. One package of food may contain more than one serving. So, if you eat three servings you would be getting three times the calories shown on the label.
3. Percentage of Daily Value is a guide of the nutrients available in one serving. If the label lists 15% for calcium, it means that one serving provides 15% of the calcium you need each day.As a general consideration, 5% or less of a Daily value means the food is a poor source of the nutrient, 10-20% indicates it is a good source and above 20% indicates it is a rich source of the nutrient. This list mentions fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and micronutrients as well.
Now that you know the key components of a nutrition label, how should you decide and make a healthier choice? Watch this video to find out.