Nutrition Label Reading

Use food labels to:

  • compare food products to make healthier choices
  • learn what ingredients a food product contains

Food labels provide nutrition information including:

  • The Nutrition Facts table
    • Use the percent daily value (%DV) found in the nutrition facts table to choose foods higher in fibre and lower in fat and sodium.
    • A nutrient with a DV of 5% or less is a little, and anything with a DV of 15% or more is a lot.
    • Learn more about the nutrition facts table and using the %DV.
  • The Ingredient List
    • The ingredient list shows all the items found in a food.
    • Use the ingredient list to see what is in your food and if it has a certain ingredient. This can be helpful if you have a food allergy or sensitivity.
    • Learn more about using the ingredient list.
  • Nutrition Claims
    • There are two types of nutrition claims: nutrient content claims and health claims.
    • Nutrient content claims tell you about the amount of a nutrient in a food. They can help you choose foods with a nutrient you may want more of (e.g., fibre) or less of (e.g., sodium, sugar and saturated fat).
    • Health claims tell you how your diet can affect your health. They can help you choose foods that can lower your risk for certain chronic diseases.
    • Learn more about nutrition claims.

Keep in mind that nutrition claims are optional, and they only highlight some of the nutrients in a food.  You still need to use the nutrition facts table and ingredient list to make an informed decision and choose the food healthiest for you.

Over the next few years, you will see changes to the food label. These changes will make it easier to make healthy food choices.

Check out Canada’s Food Guide for more information about choosing healthy foods.

Services related to this information:

  • 811 Dial-a-Dietitian (Newfoundland & Labrador) – Call 811 or 1-888-709-2929 / TTY 1-888-709-3555
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Last updated: 2019-08-07