Interactive tool: interactive nutrition label

Flash Version

To help you better understand the new food label, Health Canada has created a tool called the Interactive nutrition label. By exploring our new interactive tool, you can learn how to use nutrition information to make more informed choices about the foods you buy.

Following Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide can also help you make healthy food choices.

The Nutrition Facts table

Easy to find, Easy to read

Whole kernel corn

Nutrition Facts
Per 1/2 cup (125g)
Amount % Daily Value
Calories 70
Fat 0.5 g 1 %
Saturated 0 g
+ Trans 0 g
0 %
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 250 mg 10 %
Carbohydrate 13 g 4 %
Fibre 2 g 8 %
Sugars 6 g
Protein 2 g
Vitamin A 2 %   Vitamin C 2 %
Calcium 0 %   Iron 4 %

The Nutrition Facts table includes calories and 13 nutrients: fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, fibre, sugars, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron.

You can use the Nutrition Facts to:

  • Compare products more easily
  • Determine the nutritional value of foods
  • Better manage special diets
  • Increase or decrease your intake of a particular nutrient

Use the Nutrition Facts table to help you make informed choices. Making healthy food choices can help reduce your risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Specific amount of food

All the information in the Nutrition Facts table is based on a specific amount of food. Be sure to compare this amount to the amount you eat.

The first thing you should do when you read the Nutrition Facts is to:

  1. Look at the specific amount of food listed.
  2. Compare it to how much you actually eat.

Whole wheat bread

Nutrition Facts
Per 2 slices (175g)
Amount % Daily Value
Calories 140
Fat 1.5 g 2 %
Saturated 0.3 g
+ Trans 0.5 g
4 %
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 290 mg 12 %
Carbohydrate 26 g 9 %
Fibre 3 g 12 %
Sugars 2 g
Protein 5 g
Vitamin A 0 %   Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 4 %   Iron 10 %

The specific amount may be indicated by:

  • A phrase such as: a slice, one egg, two cookies, followed by the metric measure.
  • Familiar household units such as mL, cups, tablespoons, or a fraction or unit of food (e.g., 1/4 pizza), followed by the metric measure (g, mL) (e.g., 175 g yogourt).

% Daily Value

Use the % Daily Value to see if a food has a little or a lot of a nutrient.

The % Daily Value is:

  • a benchmark for evaluating the nutrient content of foods quickly and easily;
  • based on recommendations for a healthy diet; and
  • used to determine whether there is a lot or a little of a nutrient in a specific amount of food.

Use the % Daily Value to make food comparisons.

The % Daily Value provides a quick overview of the nutrient profile of the food, allowing product comparisons based on more than one nutrient. It puts nutrients on the same scale (0% - 100% Daily Value). You can quickly identify the strengths and weaknesses of a food product.

Here are two Nutrition Facts tables:

Sirloin burger

Nutrition Facts
Per 1 burger (130 g)
Amount % Daily Value
Calories 340
Fat 27 g 42 %
Saturated 12 g
+ Trans 2 g
70 %
Cholesterol 70 mg
Sodium 330 mg 14 %
Carbohydrate 3 g 1 %
Fibre 0 g 0 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 24 g
Vitamin A 0 %   Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 2 %   Iron 30 %

Chicken Burger

Nutrition Facts
Per 1 burger (130 g)
Amount % Daily Value
Calories 200
Fat 9 g 14 %
Saturated 2 g
+ Trans 1 g
15 %
Cholesterol 70 mg
Sodium 800 mg 33 %
Carbohydrate 4 g 1 %
Fibre 0 g 0 %
Sugars 0 g
Protein 25 g
Vitamin A 0 %   Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 4 %   Iron 2 %

The specific amount of food, listed in the Nutrition Facts, is the same for both products. Compare the % Daily Value to determine what product has the most iron.

Calories and core nutrients

Calories and the same core nutrients are always listed in the same order. A consistent look makes the Nutrition Facts table easy to find and use.

Learn about the core nutrients in the Nutrition Facts table.

Chicken burger

Nutrition Facts
Per 1 burger (130 g)
Amount % Daily Value
Calories 200
Fat 9 g 14 %
Saturated 2 g
+ Trans 1 g
15 %
Cholesterol 70 mg
Sodium 800 mg 33 %
Carbohydrate 4 g 1 %
Fibre 0 g 0 %
Sugars 0 g
Protein 25 g
Vitamin A 0 %   Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 4 %   Iron 2 %

Nutrition Claims

Use nutrition claims to make informed food choices.

The Government has rules in place that must be met before a nutrition claim can be made on a label or advertisement. The rules for nutrition claims apply to all foods, prepackaged and not prepackaged, no matter where they are sold.

A manufacturer can choose whether or not to include nutrition claims on the label or in the advertisement of a food.

Many products will have nutrition claims as these claims highlight a feature of interest to consumers.

Examples of claims

Source of fibre
Manufacturers of food can highlight a product's nutrition features using claims such as "Source of fibre". "Source of fibre" means the food contains at least 2 grams of dietary fibre in the amount of food specified in the Nutrition Facts table.
Low fat
"Low" is always associated with a very small amount. "Low fat" means that the food contains no more than 3 grams of fat in the amount of food specified in the Nutrition Facts table. In a healthy diet, the recommended range for fat intake is approximately one third of total Calories.
Cholesterol-free
The claim "Cholesterol-free" means that the product has a negligible amount (less than 2 mg of cholesterol in the amount of food specified in the Nutrition Facts table) and it is also low in saturated fat and trans fat.
Sodium-free
"Free" is an amount of a nutrient so small that health experts consider it nutritionally insignificant. A "sodium-free" claim means the amount of food specified in the Nutrition Facts table contains less than 5 mg of sodium.
Reduced in calories
"Reduced in Calories" has at least 25% less energy (Calories) than the food it is being compared to.
Light
When referring to a nutritional characteristic of a product, "light" is allowed only on foods that are either "reduced in fat" or "reduced in energy" (Calories). "Light" can also be used to describe sensory characteristics of a food, provided that the characteristic is clearly identified with the claim (e.g., light tasting, light coloured).

List of ingredients

Bran cereal

Ingredients: Whole wheat, wheat bran, sugar/glucose-fructose, salt, malt (corn flour, malted barley), vitamins (thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, d-calcium pantothenate), minerals (iron, zinc oxide).

The list of ingredients is mandatory and has been on the food product package for many years. All of the ingredients for a food are listed in descending order by weight. The ingredients present in the greatest amount in a product are listed first. Therefore, in this example, whole wheat is the ingredient present in the greatest amount, since it is listed first.

The list is also a source of information for people who want to avoid certain ingredients or verify the presence of an ingredient in a food.

Interactive nutrition label quiz

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