Interactive Guide to Reading Food Labels

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The Nutrition Facts label is a boxed panel required by the Food and Drug Administration on most packaged food and beverage products. The Nutrition Facts label provides detailed information about the nutrient content of the product. The label — sometimes called the nutrition information panel — is intended to help you make healthier choices. The required information is standard, but the specific nutrients vary depending on the food product.

You can read the Nutrition Facts label to determine the amounts of such nutrients as fat, sodium and fiber in specific products. Knowing this information can help you decide whether a food or beverage fits in to your eating plan or is appropriate if you have certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. It also enables you to compare similar products to see which one might be a healthier choice.

The more practice you get reading food labels, the better you can become in using them as a tool to plan your healthy, balanced diet.





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