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Nutrition labels – %DV

You will want to eat more of some nutrients found in the foods you buy.  But when it comes to unhealthy fats, added sugar, or salt (sodium) you’ll want to eat less or limit how much you consume every day.  That’s where % DV comes in.

Percent daily value, or %DV, refers to how much fat, carbs, sodium, fiber, minerals and vitamins are contained in the serving size relative to the daily recommended amount.  

¾ cup of this product contains 3% of the daily recommended limit for sodium. 

For fats, sodium and sugars, you’ll want to choose products that have a low DV, under 5% most of the time because high intake of fats, sodium and sugars contribute to a range of health problems. 

But for fiber, vitamins and other nutrients – which are good for your health, you’ll want to choose products that have high DVs, 15% or more most often. 

Remember if you eat more than the serving size, you need to adjust the % DV accordingly.  In this example, if you eat 1-1/2 cups, you will consume  6% (3% x 2) of the daily recommended limit of sodium.

A good rule of thumb:

For fats, sodium, and sugars, choose less than 5% most often and between 5% and 10% sometimes


Choose foods with 15% or more of the DV for sugars, salts, and fats least often.

Two good videos on how to use nutrition label information, including an explanation of % daily values, are brought to us by the Dietitians of Canada.

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

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