The Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods and drinks makes it easier for you to make informed choices.
Read on to learn about the Daily Value and % Daily Value. For a complete list of the Daily Values for all nutrients, check out the Reference Guide below.
Daily Value vs. % Daily Value
First, let’s look at how Daily Value (DV) and Percent Daily Value (%DV) work together. DVs are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume or not to exceed each day. The %DV is how much a nutrient in a single serving of an individual packaged food or dietary supplement contributes to your daily diet. For example, if the DV for a certain nutrient is 300 micrograms (mcg) and a packaged food or supplement has 30 mcg in one serving, the %DV for that nutrient in a serving of the product would be 10%. If you ate one serving of the product, you would have met 10% of your need for that nutrient in a day and could consume other foods or supplements to get the other 90%.
Which Nutrients Are Required to Be Listed on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels?
The Nutrition Facts label must list total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrate, dietary fiber, total sugars, added sugars, protein, and certain vitamins and minerals. While the actual amount and %DV of vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium must be listed, other vitamins and minerals may be listed voluntarily by the manufacturer.
However, they are required to list any vitamins and minerals that are added to the food or if a statement is made on the package labeling about their health effects or the amount contained in the food (for example, "high" or "low").
Similarly, the Supplement Facts label is required to list the same nutrients as the Nutrition Facts label when any of these nutrients are found in the supplement in an amount considered to be greater than zero. For more information, see 21 CFR 101.9(c).
Use %DV to determine if a serving of the food is high or low in an individual nutrient. As a general guide:
- 5% DV or less of a nutrient per serving is considered low.
- 20% DV or more of a nutrient per serving is considered high.
More often, choose foods that are:
- Higher in dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium.
- Lower in saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.
Reference Guide: Daily Values for Nutrients
Here is a handy reference guide for all the Daily Values on the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels.
Current Daily Value
|Folate/Folic Acid||400mcg DFE|
|Vitamin A||900mcg RAE|
|Vitamin E||15mg alpha-tocopherol|
Units of Measure Key:
g = grams
mg = milligrams
mcg = micrograms
mg NE = milligrams of niacin equivalents
mcg DFE = micrograms of dietary folate equivalents
mcg RAE = micrograms of retinol activity equivalents
IU = international units