Nutrition Labels 101: What does percentage of daily value mean?


Nutrition Facts labels are pretty confusing
for a lot of people. So today, I want to focus on the real center
there of the food panel – and that’s what’s called the percent daily value. And that can be a little deceiving. It is based on a 2000 calorie diet and most
people are not eating 2000 calories, so you can’t necessarily use it exactly for what
you’re consuming, but it’s a nice guide. The FDA has something they called the 5-20
Rule. So if I look down here and it has a whole
bunch of percentages next to the daily value, that’s going to tell us what the percentage
is for that daily value for that particular nutrient. The 5-20 Rule tells us that if it’s 5% or
less, that that particular nutrient is not a good source for this product. If it’s 20% or more, it is a good source. So if we can look quickly at a nutrient and
see if it is a good source or not a good source. Well, for certain things, we really want to
eat less of those as Americans. Things like fats, saturated fats, cholesterol,
and sodium. We would aim to go with 5% or less if we can
in that product. For things we want to increase in our diet,
like fiber, and all the vitamins and minerals, we really want to try anything for 20% or
more. So a simple example on this particular one
is our sodium. It’s 28%, but then if I refer back to my serving
size, there’s 1 cup is a serving. There’s 2 servings per container. Well, most we’re going to eat the entire container
of soup, so I need to double that. So 28 times 2 tells me it’s 56% of the daily
value for sodium. So it may not be a healthy choice for those
people who are restricting their sodium. So it’s remembering that 5-20 Rule and also
remember that if you consume more than one serving, you need to double that.

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