How To Read A Nutrition Label: A Guide To What Matters Most

Reading nutrition labels can be overwhelming! With so many numbers and ingredients, there are countless ways to read them. No matter what your purpose is for reading a nutrition label, you should know how to find what you’re looking for. Reading a nutrition label can help you make smarter purchases and eating decisions.

What You Should Be Looking For

Grab any food product with a container on it at the supermarket and flip it over to the back. This is where you’ll find a section with the bold lettering on top that reads “Nutrition Facts”.  Any product that gets approved by the FDA has to have this label printed on their product.

Servings Per Container

You’ll want to know how many portions you are buying. An important piece of information to read is the servings per container. Look for “servings per container” this is the number of portions that are inside of the product. Knowing how many servings there are, will help you understand how they are measuring.

Serving Size

This number is where you can understand a quantity that is the “serving size”. This is one of the most important parts of the Nutrition Label. Understanding what a serving is measured can help determine portions. Considering the serving size will help you to compare similar products.

Knowing the serving size can help you eat better-sized meal portions. The difference between eating one or two servings, so make sure you’re checking!


The calorie count can help you determine quickly how much energy you’ll get from a serving of this food. Generally speaking, the recommended healthy intake of calories per day is 2,000. Being able to quickly identify how many calories are in a serving, can help you identify if it’s a good food choice.


Checking the nutrients in a serving size can also help determine if this food is a good choice for you. Just below the Calorie count, you’ll find a list of nutrients that are in the product, per serving size. This is an important section to read. Many people try to limit their intake of saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.

Reading the nutrients provided in food can help change your eating habits. Dietary Fiber, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin D, and Potassium are common nutrients to check for. These specific nutrients are good to incorporate into a healthy diet.

Percent Daily Value (%DV)

This percentage represents how much of the nutrient you should include in your diet. Knowing this percentage will help you to determine if you’re meeting daily nutrients.

Serving Size, Calories, Nutrients, and Percent Daily Value are important to understand. Knowing each of these measurements can help you make healthier food choices.


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