Food labels

Making healthier food choices is as easy as learning to read food labels.

Nutrition information is found on packaged foods and includes the Nutrition Facts table, the ingredient list, and nutrition claims.

In this section you'll find information to help reduce your risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. Learn how to understand and use the Nutrition Facts table, ingredient list, and nutrition claims to make healthier food choices for you and your family.

In this topic

The Nutrition Facts table

The Nutrition Facts table gives you information on the how much of the 13 core nutrients and calories are in a serving of food. Use this information and the % Daily Value to choose and compare food products for a healthier you.

Serving size

An amount of food - also known as the serving size - is listed at the top of the Nutrition Facts table. All of the information in the Nutrition Facts table is based on the amount of food listed.

Ingredient list

Food companies have to put the ingredient list on packaged foods, from most to least. This means that the food contains more of the ingredients at the beginning of the list and less of the ingredients at the end of the list.

Nutrition claims

Nutrition claims (including nutrient claims and health claims) must follow certain rules to make sure that they are consistent and not misleading. These claims are optional and may be found on some food products.

Nutrient content claims: what they mean

Confused by claims like "fat free", "no added sugar", or "low sodium"? Find out what those terms - and others like them - actually mean.

Health claims: what they mean

Some of the foods you buy will include claims directly related to your health - for instance, "reduced risk of heart disease" or "reduced risk of high blood pressure". Companies making these claims must meet certain standards.

Interactive tools

Interactive tool: interactive nutrition label

By exploring this interactive guide, you can learn how to use nutrition information to make more informed choices.

Interactive tool: nutrition label quiz

Once you've taken a tour around our interactive nutrition label: Get the Facts, why not test your knowledge by taking our interactive nutrition label Quiz.

Interactive tool: how to choose

Follow some simple steps to see if some of the foods you eat contain the nutrients your body needs.

Interactive tool: amount of food

Use this tool to help understand how the amount of food and the nutrient information work together on nutrition labels--and to tell you whether you are getting a little or a lot of calories and nutrients.

Interactive tool: how to compare

Use this interactive tool to learn how the Nutrition Facts table can help you compare food products and make a better choice for you.

Highlights

The percent daily value (% DV)

The Percent Daily Value (% DV) can help you choose foods that are healthier for you. The % DV is found on the right-hand side of the Nutrition Facts table.

What are food labels?

Food labels are found on packaged foods. They provide information on nutritional value, ingredients, and nutrition claims. Reading these labels will help you make healthier food choices.

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