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Understanding the FDA's Nutrition Label

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The FDA's new foodlabel, established in 1994, contains an up-to-date, easy-to-use nutrition information guide and is required on almost all packaged foods.  It serves as an aid in planning a healthy diet for you and your family.

Serving sizes are now more consistent across product lines, stated in both household and metric measures, and reflect the amounts people actually eat.

Nutrients listed are those most important to the health of today's consumers.  Most people need to worry about getting too much of certain items, rather than too few vitamins or minerals.

Calories are now broken into calories per gram of fat, carbohydrates, and protein.

Fat calories are now shown on the label to help you meet diet guidelines that recommend you get no more than 30 percent of your calories from fat.

Percentage of daily value show how a food fits into your daily diet.

Daily values are sometimes maximums, as with fat (65 grams or less) and sometimes minimums, as with carbohydrates (300 grams or more).  The daily values on the label are based on a daily diet of 2,000 and 2,500 calories.  Individuals should adjust the values to fit their own calorie intake.

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