Eating too much saturated fat and sodium, for example, is associated with an increased risk of developing some health conditions, like cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Consuming too much added sugars can make it hard to meet important nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits.
Total Sugars on the Nutrition Facts label includes sugars naturally present in many nutritious foods and beverages, such as sugar in milk and fruit as well as any added sugars that may be present in the product. No Daily Reference Value has been established for total sugars because no recommendation has been made for the total amount to eat in a day.
Added Sugars on the Nutrition Facts label include sugars that are added during the processing of foods (such as sucrose or dextrose), foods packaged as sweeteners (such as table sugar), sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices. Diets high in calories from added sugars can make it difficult to meet daily recommended levels of important nutrients while staying within calorie limits.
Note: Having the word “includes” before Added Sugars on the label indicates that Added Sugars are included in the number of grams of Total Sugars in the product.
This means that the product has 7 grams of Added Sugars and 8 grams of naturally occurring sugars – for a total of 15 grams of sugar.
- Nutrients to get more of: Dietary Fiber, Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, and Potassium.
Saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars are nutrients listed on the label that ericans generally consume too much of them, according to the recommended limits for these nutrients
Dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron ad potassium are nutrients on the label that Americans generally do not get the recommended amount of. They are identified as nutrients to get more of. Eating a diet high in dietary fiber can increase the frequency of bowel movements, lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and reduce calorie intake. Diets higher in vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis, anemia, and high blood pressure.
Remember: You can use the label to support your personal dietary needs-choose foods that contain more of the nutrients you want to get more of and less of the nutrients you may want to limit.
4. The Percent Daily Value (%DV)
The % Daily Value (%DV) is the percentage of the Daily Value for each nutrient in a serving of the food. The Daily Values are reference amounts (expressed in grams, milligrams, or micrograms) of nutrients to consume or not to exceed each day.
Do you need to know how to calculate percentages to use the %DV? No, because the label (the %DV) does the math for you! It helps you interpret the nutrient numbers (grams, milligrams, or micrograms) by putting them all on the same scale for the day (0-100%DV). The %DV column doesn’t add up vertically to 100%. Instead, the %DV is the percentage of the Daily Value for each nutrient in a serving of the food. It can tell you if a serving of food is high or low in a nutrient and whether a serving of the food contributes a lot, or a little, to your daily diet for each nutrient.
Note: some nutrients on the Nutrition Facts label, like total sugars and trans fat, do not have a %DV – they will be discussed later.
- 5% DV or less of a nutrient per serving is considered low
- 20% DV or more of a nutrient per serving is considered high