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reviewed 7/19/2018

How to read a food label

Food labels provide lots of great information. You can use them to:

Check calories per serving. Serving size is based on the amount usually consumed at one time. Make sure to compare brands.

Learn about a food's nutritional merit. Food labels list key nutrients, such as fat, added sugars, calcium, sodium and fiber.

Serving size. Start here. The serving size reflects the amount typically consumed at once. Some packages may include a label for the entire package.

Calories. This is where you'll discover how many calories are in a single serving.

Nutrients. This part of a label shows the amount of key nutrients in one serving so you can make informed decisions about your diet.

Sources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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