Nutrition label guide - KMSP-TV

How to decode any nutrition label

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Do nutritional labels thoroughly confuse you?

Fox 9 fitness expert Ali Holman breaks down how to read a nutritional label and what you need more and less of to lead a healthier life.

To find out more about Ali's Online Daily Workouts, visit

Get the right nutrients

1. Check total calories per serving. Look at the serving size and how many servings you're really consuming.

2. Get enough of these nutrients. Make sure you get 100 percent of the fiber, vitamins and other nutrients you need every day.

Quick guide to % DV

The % DV section tells you the percent of each nutrient in a single serving, in terms of the daily recommended amount. As a guide, if you want to consume less of a nutrient (such as saturated fat, cholesterol or sodium), choose foods with a lower % DV — 5 percent or less is low. If you want to consume more of a nutrient (such as fiber), seek foods with a higher % DV — 20 percent or more is high.

Ali's notes

• Remember that the information shown is based on 2,000 calories a day. You may need to consume less or more than 2,000 calories depending upon your age, gender, activity level, and whether you're trying to lose, gain or maintain your weight.

• Goal is 45% of your calories as carbohydrates

• Goal is 10-35% of your calories from protein (Active adult .5 g protein per lb. of body weight per day)

• Goal is 20% of your calories from healthy fats (no more than about 55 g day, including no more than 16 g of saturated fat, 2 g or less or trans fat and less than 300 mg cholesterol)

• Fiber goal for women is 25g/day, men is 38g/day

AHA recommends:

1500/mg sodium per day (about 1.5 tsp)

25 G sugar (about 9 tsp)

What do those claims mean?

Calorie free: Less than 5 calories

Sugar free: Less than 0.5 grams of sugar

Fat free: Less than 0.5 grams of fat

Low fat: 3 grams of fat or less

Reduced fat or less fat: At least 25 percent less fat than the regular product

Low in saturated fat: 1 gram of saturated fat or less, with not more than 15 percent of the calories coming from saturated fat

Cholesterol free: Less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams (or less) of saturated fat

Low cholesterol: 20 or fewer milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat

Sodium free or no sodium: Less than 5 milligrams of sodium and no sodium chloride in ingredients

Very low sodium: 35 milligrams or less of sodium

Low sodium: 140 milligrams or less of sodium

High fiber: 5 grams or more of fiber

Good source of fiber: 2.5 to 4.9 grams of fiber

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