How to Read Food Labels
Just about every packaged food made in the U.S. has a food label
indicating serving size and other nutritional
information. The "Nutrition
Facts" food labels are intended to give you information
about the specific packaged food in question.
Measurements of fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate,
protein, vitamins and minerals are calculated for a
"typical portion." But, reading these labels can be
confusing. Below find an example of a food label and an
explanation of what it means.
Serving Size. Serving sizes are based on the
amount of food people typically eat, which makes them
realistic and easy to compare to similar foods. This may
or may not be the serving amount you normally eat. It is
important that you pay attention to the serving size,
including the number of servings in the package and
compare it to how much you actually eat. The size of the
serving on the food package influences all the nutrient
amounts listed on the top part of the label. For
example, if a package has 4 servings and you eat the
entire package, you quadruple the calories, fat,
cholesterol, etc. that you have eaten.
Calories and Calories From Fat. The number of
calories and grams of nutrients are provided for the
stated serving size. This is the part of the food label
where you will find the amount of fat per serving.