NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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What is Daily Value?

What is Daily Value? 2/16/18Somewhere on the box, bag, package, carton, or bottle of many foods and beverages is a Nutrition Facts Label.  The information provided by nutrition fact labels can be empowering for consumers, and very useful when trying to make informed choices and decisions about food. 

The percentages shown on nutrition facts labels refer to % DV.  DV is the abbreviation for Daily ValueDaily values are the percentage of nutrients provided by one serving of the product, based on a diet of 2,000 calories per day. It is important to remember that our individual calorie needs may be less or more than 2,000 calories per day, and therefore our nutrient needs may be less or more than the Daily Value.

For certain nutrients such as sodium and added sugar, health-conscious consumers will want to aim for lower percentages of DV. For other nutrients, like fiber, vitamins, and minerals, health-conscious consumer will want to aim for higher percentages of DV, with a goal of 100% each day.

As stated above, Daily Values are the percentage of nutrients provided by one serving of the product. So what is “one serving?” 

To use nutrition fact labels for their maximum benefit, look first at the “serving size” at the top of the label.  The amount of food listed there is a measurement of the amount of food from the box, jar, package, bottle, or container that is considered a “serving.”  All of the information on a nutrition facts label is based on the amount of food identified as a serving.

If we were to eat or drink only half of the amount identified as a serving, we would get half of the calories listed for the serving, and half of the amounts listed for each of the nutrients.  Likewise, if we ate or drank twice as much as the amount that is listed as a serving, we would in effect be consuming two servings.  Therefore, we would get two times the amounts of calories and nutrients listed.

Serving size matters, especially when the common amount we would consume is more than the measurement identified as a serving.  For example, a 20-ounce beverage bottle may list the serving size as 8 ounces, and provide nutrition information based on that 8 ounce serving.  But if we consume the entire 20-ounce bottle, we are getting 2½ times the calories and nutrients listed on the label. 

To learn more about reading, interpreting, and using the information on nutrition facts labels, visit this FDA website:  https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/InteractiveNutritionFactsLabel/#intro

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/key-tag-security-label-symbol-2114313/ (downloaded 2/20/18)


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