Serving size

All of the information in the Nutrition Facts table is based on an amount of food called "serving size." The serving size is listed at the top of the Nutrition Facts table.

The serving size is not necessarily the suggested portion of food you should eat. It is a reference amount for the calories and nutrients on the Nutrition Facts table.

The serving size on the Nutrition Facts table helps you:

  • understand how much of a nutrient you're eating
  • determine how many calories you're eating
  • compare the nutrition information between two food products

Did you know?

The serving size listed on the Nutrition Facts table is not always the amount of food you should eat.  Learn about food guide servings and keep track of the amount and types of food you eat each day.

 

Using the serving size

If you are eating more or less than the listed serving size, it is important to adjust the values of the calories and nutrients on the Nutrition Facts table.

Example: cereal

The serving size for this cereal in the Nutrition Facts table is ½ cup. If you decide to eat 1 cup of cereal, just double the calories and nutrient values. Here are a couple of examples:

If…
The % Daily Value for fibre in ½ cup cereal = 7%
then
The % Daily Value for fibre in 1 cup cereal = 14%

If…
The amount of calories in a ½ cup cereal = 150 calories
then
The amount of calories in 1 cup cereal = 300 calories

Did you know?

You can use the % Daily Value (% DV) on the Nutrition Facts table to figure out if a food has a little or a lot of a nutrient. Remember: 5% DV or less is a little, and 15% DV or more is a lot for any nutrient. Check out the Nutrition Facts table page for a list of nutrients you may want a little or a lot of.

Using the serving size to compare foods

It is important to look at serving sizes when comparing food products to ensure you are comparing similar amounts of food.

For example:

Even though Cracker A has a lot more crackers per serving than Cracker B, these foods can be compared because the servings weigh approximately the same amount. The serving size for Cracker A weighs 23 g, while the serving size for Cracker B weighs 20 g.

Of the two options, Cracker B is the healthier choice because it has more fibre and less sodium than Cracker A.

Cracker A

Nutrition Facts
Per 9 crackers (23 g)
Amount % Daily Value
Calories 90
Fat 4.5 g 7 %
Saturated 2.5 g
+ Trans 0 g
13 %
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 280 mg 12 %
Carbohydrate 12 g 4 %
Fibre 1 g 4 %
Sugars 0 g
Protein 3 g
Vitamin A 0 %   Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 2 %   Iron 8 %

Cracker B

Nutrition Facts
Per 4 crackers (20 g)
Amount % Daily Value
Calories 90
Fat 2 g 3 %
Saturated 0.3 g
+ Trans 0 g
2 %
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 60 mg 4 %
Carbohydrate 15 g 5 %
Fibre 3 g 12 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 2 g
Vitamin A 2 %   Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 2 %   Iron 6 %

Did you know?

Some foods can be compared even when their serving sizes aren't similar.

For example, you can compare a bagel to sliced bread even though:

  • the serving size for a bagel is 90 g
  • the serving size for 2 slices of bread is 70 g

While the serving sizes aren't similar, you can still compare these food products because you would most likely eat either the bagel or the 2 slices of bread.

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