Learn About Food Labels

Food labels can be hard to understand. Here are tips for reading labels to help you plan healthy meals.

Check food labels when planning your meals.

Nutrition label

1. Start at the top

Look at the size of a single serving and how many servings are in the package.

2. Check the total calories per serving

Look at the serving size and how many servings you are eating. If you double the servings you eat, you double the calories and nutrients, including the Percent Daily Value (% DV).

3.  Limit these nutrients

You want to have no more than*:

  • 56 to 78 grams of Total Fat a day,
  • 16 grams of Saturated Fat,
  • 2 grams of Trans Fat,
  • 300 mg Cholesterol

*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

4. Get enough fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients

Make sure you get 100% of the fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients you need every day.

5. Quick guide to % daily value

5% or less is low, 20% or more is high.

The following are the values from the image of the nutrition label above.

Serving Size 5 oz. (144g)

Servings Per Container 4

Amount Per Serving

Calories 310, Calories from Fat 100

Total Fat 15g, % Daily Value* 21%

Saturated Fat 2.6g, % Daily Value* 17%

Trans Fat 1g

Cholesterol 118mg, % Daily Value* 39%

Sodium 560mg, % Daily Value* 28%

Total Carbohydrate 2g, % Daily Value* 4%

Dietary Fiber 1g, % Daily Value* 4%

Sugars 1g

Protein 24g

Vitamin A 1%

Calcium 2%

Thiamin 8%

Vitamin C 2%

Iron 5%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.