The Spoonable 6th Edition: Bite Sized Wellness Tips from a Registered Dietitian
Get your (Nutrition) Facts Straight!
by Danica Crouse, RDN, LD
When you are looking to make changes to your diet and opt for healthier foods, you are often directed to review the nutrition facts label. Without much context, this little box could be confusing and even misleading. Let's take a look at the facts to better understand how to read food labels.
Starting at the top of the label, you'll want to check out the serving size (usually in units such as cups or pieces) and number of servings per container. These serving sizes are not standardized and are not a recommendation of how much you should eat or drink. The serving size can vary even among similar products. If you choose to eat more or less than one (suggested) serving of something, go for it! You'll just have to account for the adjusted intake of the nutrients listed below. The serving size for a Sweet Nothings smoothie is one container, so sharing is optional (but we bet you won't want to!).
Understanding % Daily Value
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you the percentage of each nutrient in a serving, in terms of the daily recommended amount. If you want to consume less of a nutrient (such as saturated fat or sodium), choose foods with a lower % DV (5 percent or less). If you want to consume more of a nutrient (such as fiber), choose foods with a higher % DV (20 percent or more).The information shown in the label is based on a diet of 2,000 calories a day, but individual needs can vary greatly. Caloric needs will depend on your age, gender, activity level, and weight management goals. It's important to not get too caught up in the %DV as it may not always be applicable to YOUR specific needs.Small Steps for Big Impact