Deciphering Food Labeling

Stuff I’d Like to See General Deciphering Food Labeling

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    • #239024

      Food labeling offers a great deal of information on most packaged

      Alternative Names
      Nutrition labeling

      Serving size:

      Based on an average portion size. Similar food products have similar
      serving sizes to make comparison between products easier.

      Amounts per serving:

      The Calories and the calories from fat are listed. These numbers
      will help consumers make decisions about fat intake. The list of
      nutrients (total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol , sodium, total
      carbohydrate , dietary fiber , sugars , protein ) includes those
      most important to the health of today’s consumer. The amount, in
      grams (g) or milligrams (mg), per serving of these nutrients is
      listed to their immediate right.

      Vitamins and minerals:

      Only 2 vitamins (A and C) and 2 minerals (calcium and iron) are
      required on the food label. Food companies can voluntarily list
      other vitamins and minerals in the food. When vitamins or minerals
      are added, or when a vitamin or mineral claim is made, those
      nutrients must be listed on the nutrition label.

      Percent daily value:

      The amounts of vitamins and minerals are listed as a Percent Daily
      Value on the nutrition label. The Percent Daily Value for vitamins
      and minerals gives a general idea of how much of a vitamin or
      mineral a serving contributes to the total daily diet. For example,
      if the Percent Daily Value for vitamin C of all the foods you eat in
      a day adds up to 100%, your diet meets the recommendation for
      vitamin C.

      Food Sources
      The U. S. government requires food labels on most packaged foods.
      The label offers complete, useful and accurate nutrition
      information. The government encourages food manufacturers to improve
      the quality of their products and help the consumer make healthier
      food choices. They provide a consistent format to help you directly
      compare the nutritional content of various foods. Food labels have
      the title “Nutrition Facts.”

      Side Effects

      The Daily Values section shows how a food fits into the overall
      daily diet. The value of the nutrient is given in percentages. The
      Percent Daily Value gives the food’s nutritional content based on a
      2,000-calorie diet. You can use this to quickly compare foods and
      see how the amount of a nutrient in a serving of food fits into a
      2,000-calorie diet.

      For example, a food that has 13 grams of fat with a Percent Daily
      Value of 20% means that 13 grams of fat is 20%, or one-fifth, of the
      total daily fat recommended for a person who eats 2,000 calories per

      Near the bottom of the label you will see a list of 6 nutrients and
      the recommended daily intakes. The daily values are listed for 2,000
      and for 2,500 calories. Your daily values may be higher or lower
      depending of your calorie needs.

      The amounts of the first 4 nutrients — total fat, saturated fat,
      cholesterol, sodium — are maximum amounts. That is why the list
      says “less than” before the number. The amounts of total
      carbohydrate and dietary fiber are minimum amounts. This is exactly
      the same on all food labels that carry it. You can use it as a


      A nutrient content claim is a word or phrase on a food package that
      makes a comment about the nutritional value of the food. The claim
      will mean the same for every product. The following are some
      approved nutrient claims.

      Calorie terms:

      40 calories or less per serving
      At least 25% fewer calories per serving when compared with a similar
      Light, Lite
      One-third fewer calories or 50% less fat per serving; if more than
      half the calories are from fat, fat content must be reduced by 50%
      or more
      Sugar terms:
      Less than 1/2 gram sugar per serving
      Reduced sugar
      At least 25% less sugar per serving when compared with a similar
      Fat terms:
      Less than 1/2 gram fat per serving
      100% fat free
      Meets requirements for fat free
      3 grams or less per serving
      At least 25% less fat when compared with a similar food
      Cholesterol terms:

      Less than 2 milligrams cholesterol per serving and 2 grams or less
      saturated fat per serving.
      20 milligrams or less cholesterol per serving and 2 grams or less
      saturated fat per serving
      Sodium terms:

      Less than 5 milligrams sodium per serving
      Meets requirements for sodium-free

      For the first time, you will see FDA approved and regulated health
      claim phrases. A health claim is a food label message that describes
      the relationship between a food or food component, such as fat,
      calcium, or fiber, and a disease or health-related condition.

      The government has authorized health claims for 7 diet and health
      relationships that are backed by extensive scientific evidence.

      1. Calcium and osteoporosis

      2. Fiber-containing grain products, fruits, vegetables and cancer

      3. Fruits, vegetables, and cancer

      4. Fruits, vegetables, and grain products that contain fiber and
      coronary heart disease

      5. Fat and cancer

      6. Saturated fat and cholesterol and coronary heart disease

      7. Sodium and hypertension

      An example of a valid health claim you may see on a high-fiber
      cereal product food label would be: “Many factors affect cancer
      risk; eating a diet low in fat and high in fiber may lower the risk
      of this disease.”

      For further information on specific health claims refer to the
      information on diet and health.


      Food manufacturers are required to list ingredients in descending
      order by weight, from the most to the least. People with food
      sensitivities can obtain useful information from the ingredient list
      on the label.

      The ingredient list will include, when appropriate:

      FDA-approved color additives
      Sources of protein hydrolysates
      Caseinate as a milk derivative in foods that claim to be nondairy
      (such as coffee whiteners)
      Most manufacturers offer a toll-free number to answer questions
      about specific food products and their ingredients.


      Many foods do not have information on them. Some foods are exempt
      from food labeling. These include:

      Restaurant foods
      Hospital cafeterias
      Airline foods
      Food service vendors (such as mall cookie vendors, sidewalk vendors,
      and vending machines)
      Ready-to-eat food prepared primarily on the site
      Bulk food that is not resold
      Food produced by small businesses
      Medical foods
      Plain coffee and tea
      Flavor extracts
      Food colors
      Other foods that contain no significant amounts of any nutrients
      Stores may voluntarily list nutrients for many raw foods. The 20
      most commonly eaten raw fruits and vegetables and seafood will
      display nutrition information in the store. Nutrition labeling for
      single-ingredient raw products, such as ground beef and chicken
      breasts, is also voluntary.

      A toll-free consumer hot line of the American Dietetics Association
      National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics is available to answer
      questions on the new food Labels. They operate between 10 AM and 5
      PM Eastern time, Monday through Friday. The number is 1-800-366-1655.

    • #410249

      thanks for all of the great info hun!!!

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Stuff I’d Like to See General Deciphering Food Labeling