Understand Nutrients on Food Nutrition Label

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Nutrition Facts

1 servings per container
Serving Size gram (100g)

Amount per serving

% Daily Value*
Total Fat or Total Lipid 1g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 1mg
Sodium 1mg
Total Carbohydrate 1g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Total Sugars 1g
Includes 1g Added Sugars
Protein 1g

Vitamin D 1mcg
Calcium 1mg
Iron 1mg
Potassium 1mg
Vitamin A 1mcg
Vitamin C 1mg
Thiamin 1mg
Riboflavin 1mg
Niacin 1mg
Vitamin B6 1mg
Folate 1mcg DFE
(1mcg folic acid)
Vitamin B12 1mcg
Phosphorus 1mg
Magnesium 1mg
Zinc 1mg
Choline 1mg

* The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Learn Nutrition on Food Labels

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Do you know what are the health benefits a nutrient has? Do you know which nutrients can help you to boost your body immune function?

Click a nutrient on the sample food nutrition label to interactively learn the knowledge of the nutrient you click, such as what it is, its functions to human bodies, and its primary food sources.

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Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI)

Food nutrition Dietary Reference Intakes are published by Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. It is based on the collaborative scientific research from scientists in United States and Canada.

  • EAR: Estimated Average Requirements. The average daily nutrient intake level that is estimated to meet the requirements of half of the healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.
  • RDA: Recommended Dietary Allowances. The average daily dietary nutrient intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97-98 percent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.
  • AI: Adequate Intakes. The recommended average daily intake level based on observed or experimentally determined approximations or estimates of nutrient intake by a group (or groups) of apparently healthy people that are assumed to be adequate; used when an RDA cannot be determined.
  • The key difference between RDA and AI is: RDA value is derived based on enough scientific evidence; AI value is estimated using scientific judgments.
  • UL: Tolerable Upper Intake Levels. The highest average daily nutrient intake level that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population. As intake increases above the UL, the potential risk of adverse effects may increase.

Learn more about Dietary Reference Intakes:
Institute of Medicine. 2006. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/11537.

Nutrient-Dense Foods

For the same amount of foods (for example 100 gram of foods), some foods naturally contain higher amount of nutrients than others, we call them nutrient dense foods.

Another approach to calculate the nutrient density is to divide a nutrient amount by the kcalories of a food. For example, 1 cup (245gram) 2% milk has 308.7mg calcium and 122.5kcal, so this milk's calcium nutrient density is 308.7mg / 122.5kcal = 2.52mg/kcal.

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