The Nutrition Facts Label is found in all food and beverage packages

The label is very important because it gives you information about the food you eat and the beverage you drink.

In order to unravel the mysteries of the Food Facts Label you need to have an understanding of the following:


1. Serving Size:

The Total Number of Servings shows how many servings you get from the whole package.

Whereas, the Serving Size shows the amount of a single serving.

There are 15 total servings in the granola box shown in the picture (below) and each serving is 1/2 cup.

2. Calories per Serving:

Calories are the fuel for your body. The calories you get from the 1/2 cup (service size) of granola is 240 calories.

3. % Daily Value (% DV).

The percentages listed under the % Daily Value, measures the amount of nutrient contained in one serving of the food for a 2000 kCal diet. It is helpful to determine high or low nutrient content.

If it is 5 % or less, then it is considered to be LOW in that nutrient.

If it is 20 % or more, then it is considered to be HIGH in that nutrient.

4. Nutrients:

The nutrients covered are usually the ones most important to your health.

-Total Fats: ( Saturated, Unsaturated, and Trans Fats ). The Total Fat is stated both by weight in grams (g) and by by % Daily Value (% DV ). Looking at the granola Nutrition Facts Label, the the amount of total fat is 8 grams and the % DV is 12 %. There is 0.5 grams of saturated fat, so there must be 7.5 gm of unsaturated fat. The %DV of saturated fat in this label is 3%. A good goal is keep that number under 5% of total calories. 

-Carbohydrates. The total carbohydrate on the label includes both simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. This label shows the total carbohydrate per serving is 37 grams and sugar (a simple carbohydrate) makes up 18 grams of the total carbohydrate content.

-Protein. There are 5 grams of protein per 1/2 cup of granola (serving size). Note that there is no % Daily Value next to protein since that amount cannot be determined. The amount of protein someone needs depends on a lot of factors. We will discuss how much protein a person should eat in a later post.

-Dietary Fiber. The fiber listed on the label is “insoluble” fiber. That is fiber your body cannot digest/absorb; It remains in your intestine. The recommended amount of dietary fiber is 30 or more grams per day.


Vitamins (A and C)

-Minerals (Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Iron)


5. Ingredients:

The Ingredients are listed according to their amount.

The first ingredient listed is the highest amount and the last ingredient is the smallest amount.

Avoid products where sugar is listed as the first ingredient. Sugar can be listed with different names such as, fructose corn syrup, dehydrated cane juice, barley corn syrup etc.