The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has updated the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods and beverages with a fresh design that will make it easier for you to make informed food choices that contribute to lifelong healthy eating habits. Explore it today!
Manufacturers still have time to begin using the new and improved Nutrition Facts label, so you will see both label versions for a while. However, the new label is already starting to appear on products nationwide.
Size Up Servings
WHAT'S NEW: Servings per container and serving size are now in larger and/or bolder type. Serving sizes have also been updated to reflect what people eat and drink today. Additionally, there are new requirements for certain size packages, such as those that are between one and two servings or are larger than a single serving but could be consumed in one or multiple sittings.
Serving size is based on the amount of food that is customarily eaten at one time and is not a recommendation of how much to eat. The nutrition information listed on the Nutrition Facts label is usually based on one serving of the food; however, some containers may also have information displayed per package.
- When comparing calories and nutrients in different foods, check the serving size in order to make an accurate comparison.
Servings per container shows the total number of servings in the entire food package or container.
- One package of food may contain more than one serving. Some containers may also have a label with two columns – one column listing the amount of calories and nutrients in one serving and the other column listing this information for the entire package.
Consider the Calories
WHAT'S NEW: Calories are now in larger and bolder type.
Calories refers to the total number of calories, or “energy,” supplied from all sources (fat, carbohydrate, protein, and alcohol) in one serving of the food.
- As a general guide: 100 calories per serving of an individual food is considered a moderate amount, and 400 calories or more per serving of an individual food is considered high in calories.
- To achieve or maintain a healthy weight, balance the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses. 2,000 calories a day is used as a guide for general nutrition advice. Your calorie needs may be higher or lower and vary depending on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level. Check your calorie needs at Choose My Plate.
To learn more about the new Nutrition Facts label, visit Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label.
Use % Daily Value as a Guide
WHAT'S NEW: The Daily Values for nutrients have been updated based on new scientific evidence. The Daily Values are reference amounts of nutrients to consume or not to exceed each day (for adults and children 4 year of age and older) and are used to calculate the % Daily Value.
% Daily Value (%DV) shows how much a nutrient in a serving of the food contributes to a total daily diet. Use the %DV to determine if a serving of the food is high or low in an individual nutrient and to compare food products (check to make sure the serving size is the same).
As a general guide: 5% DV or less of a nutrient per serving is considered low, and 20% DV or more of a nutrient per serving is considered high.
Choose Nutrients Wisely
WHAT'S NEW: The nutrients that are required on the label have been updated. Added Sugars is now required on the label. Added sugars includes sugars that are either added during the processing of foods, or are packaged as such (e.g., a bag of table sugar), and also includes sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices. Aim for less than 10% of your total daily calories from added sugars. Vitamin D and potassium are also required on the label because many Americans do not get the recommended amounts. Vitamins A and C are no longer required since deficiencies of these vitamins are rare today, but these nutrients can be voluntarily disclosed by manufacturers.
Use the label to choose products that are lower in nutrients you want to get less of and higher in nutrients you want to get more of.
- Nutrients to get less of: saturated fat, sodium, added sugars, and trans fat. Most Americans exceed the recommended limits for these nutrients, and diets higher in these nutrients are associated with an increased risk of developing some health conditions, such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Compare and choose foods to get less than 100% DV of these nutrients each day. (Note: Trans fat has no %DV. Use the amount of grams for comparison and keep the intake of trans fat as low as possible.)
- Nutrients to get more of: dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium. Many Americans do not get the recommended amount of these nutrients, and diets higher in these nutrients can reduce the risk of developing some health conditions, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and anemia. Compare and choose foods to get 100% DV of these nutrients on most days.
Check out the Ingredient List
Ingredients: Bulgur Wheat, Sauce (Water, Half and Half [Milk, Cream], Parmesan Cheese [Pasteurized Skim Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Cheddar Cheese [Pasteurized Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Olive Oil, Butter, Sugar, Xanthan Gum, Spice), Lentils, Corn, Green Beans, Red Beans, Potatoes.
Contains: Wheat, Milk
Although the ingredient list is not part of the Nutrition Facts label, it is also a helpful tool. The Ingredient List shows each ingredient in a food by its common or usual name. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, so the ingredient that weighs the most is listed first, and the ingredient that weighs the least is listed last.