In order to plan a healthy diet, we must know how to read a food label. Food labels show us if a food has a little or a lot of certain nutrients. Look on the side of a product to find the Nutrition Facts title.
You will find the serving size of the food below the nutrition facts title. Similar food products have similar serving sizes. The servings per container are also included to let you compare what you actually eat with the serving size on that product. So remember, if the serving size is 1 cup and you eat 2 cups, then you will need to double the numbers on the label.
"The Label Guy" - Click to view an interactive "How to Read Nutrition Label" Lesson Plan
Get the nutrition facts on common foods found in Fruits, Vegetables and Seafood. Learn about the calories, fat and nutrients found in these foods as Percent Daily Values (%DV) based on that found in an 2,000 calorie diet.
What Are Nutrients?
Nutrients are substances found in food that are needed for good health. Your body can't make nutrients, so they must be supplied by food. During digestion, food is broken down into nutrients, which are absorbed into your bloodstream and carried to every cell in your body. More than 40 nutrients in food are classified into six groups: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water. Each nutrient has a specific function and they all work together for your good health.
Vitamins - trigger many different body processes. These compounds are needed in very small amounts in the diet to regulate chemical reactions in the body. Each vitamin has a specific job in your body, so one vitamin can't replace another. Vitamins do not provide energy but they help our bodies use the energy from foods.
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