Pathways to Wellness

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Nutrition labels – the basics

There’s a lot of information packed in the nutrition labels found on most pre-packaged and processed foods on grocery store shelves.  It’s all useful, but let’s look at the basics.

Here’s a short video produced by the Dietitians of Canada for a general orientation to food labels. 

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©2013. Dietitians of Canada. All rights reserved. This video is being used with permission from EatRight Ontario.

Serving size is the first item on the far left of the label – size is represented in both common kitchen and metric measures (like number of crackers or chips,  cups,  tablespoons, or grams) All the rest of the information on calories, carbs, fats, sodium, fiber, vitamins and minerals is based on this serving size. 

If the nutrition label is for 3/4 cup, but you typically eat twice that amount (1-½ cups), then you need to double (multiply x2) all the other numbers on the label.  The math can get kind of complicated: if the information is for ¾ cup but you eat 1 cup, you’ll need to multiply by 1.3!