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Health Briefs

Nutrition Facts labels

Label’s main components :
  1. The serving size.
  2. How many calories per serving size, the quantity present for each of the 13 essential nutritional elements, and sometimes more (Ex. : Polyunsaturated fatty acids, Omega).
  3. The percentage % of the recommended Daily Value present in each serving size (based on the maximum daily consumption recommended for all Canadians from 2 years old – all genders and ages combined).
Daily Value
The Daily Value’s main purpose is to help you determine quickly which nutrient, and how much of it is present. This will also help you compare quickly 2 similar products in order to make a healthier choice (do not forget the serving size).
How to determine if a given food contains a little or a lot of any specific nutrient.
Less than 5% is a little, and more than 15% is a lot.
Normally, we should look for food contents low in lipids, sodium, cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats; and food contents high in fibers, and with vitamins and minerals.
It is up to each manufacturer to indicate, or not, the cholesterol Daily Value on a label since it is not mandatory. In addition, the Daily Value of proteins is not shown since it has been determined that most Canadians consume these in sufficient quantities. As far as sugar content is concerned, this is not shown either since there’s no universally approved reference from the health community.
Daily Values in terms of weight
Following is a table of standard Daily Values shown by weight and used with nutritional labeling as well.

Fat

65g

Saturated and Trans Fats combined

20g

Cholesterol

300 mg

Sodium

2400 mg

Carbs

300 g

Fibers

25 g

Vitamin A

1000 RE

Vitamin C

60 mg

Calcium

1100 mg

Iron

14 mg

To note : the Daily Values are based on a 2000-calory food consumption.
Remember, always seek the advice of a health professional and/or your doctor prior to starting a new diet or substantially changing your eating habits. Also, keep in mind that a healthy diet combined with exercise is the best way to maintain a healthy body and a healthy mind!
Refer to Canada’s Food Guide for additional information on food and nutrition.
Nutrition facts labels