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Are You Getting 100 Percent of the Nutrients You Need?

Nutrition Facts

In addition to calories and serving sizes, there are other parts of the Nutrition Facts panel, such as the list of nutrients, that can help you make healthy food choices while you lose weight. The nutrients listed first are the ones that some people eat more of than they need. Eating too much fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, or sodium may increase your risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, or high blood pressure. "These are nutrients you should try to limit in your diet," says Kulakow. "The goal is to stay below 100 percent of the Daily Value for each of them for the day."

The Nutrition Facts panel also shows how much dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron are contained in a serving. These are the nutrients you want to get at least 100 percent of the Daily Value every day for good health.

The %DV is the quickest way to determine how a serving of food fits in with recommendations for a healthful diet, says Kulakow. To tell if a food is high or low in a nutrient, "just glance at the %DV--5 percent of the Daily Value or less is low, and 20 percent or more is high," she says.

Next: Fat & Nutrient Facts You Can Learn From the %DV!

Previous: Serving Up Good Nutrition with the Food Label

Adapted from: Losing Weight: Start By Counting Calories


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