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Read the Food Label for Calories!

Download Read the Food Label for Calories! pdf document (173k) handout.

Food labels tell you what you need to know about choosing foods that are lower in calories. Here's what a food label for canned peaches in
fruit juice tells you:

  • Amount Per Serving - The nutrient amounts on the peach label are for one serving. So, if you eat more than a serving, you need to add nutrient amounts. For example, if you eat 1 cup of Fruit Cocktail, you are eating two servings. You need to double the amount of calories on the label.
  • Calories - The amount of calories in one serving is given (60 calories).
  • Serving Size and Number of Servings - The serving size is ½ cup. There are 3½ servings in the can.
  • Sugar - The amount of sugar is shown (14 grams).

The Choice Is Yours – Compare! Which one would you choose?

Nutrition Facts labels tell you what you need to know about choosing foods that are lower in calories. Here is a Nutrition Facts label for a can of fruit cocktail in fruit juice.

  • Canned Fruit Cocktail (in fruit juice) - Canned Fruit Cocktail in fruit juice has 60 calories in a ½-cup serving.
  • Canned Fruit Cocktail (in heavy syrup) - Canned Fruit Cocktail in syrup has 100 calories in a ½-cup serving – twice the calories found in a ½-cup serving of canned Fruit Cocktail in fruit juice. This is an important difference when trying to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight.

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Information on this page is taken from the English print version of “Healthy Heart, Healthy Family: A Community Health Worker's Manual.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Publication No. 08-3674, Originally Printed 1999, Revised May 2008.

Last Updated March 2012

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