How to Read a Nutrition Label
The easiest way to read a nutrition label is to work your way down through the separate sections.
Serving size. Start by looking at the size of one serving and the number of servings in the package.
Calories. Check the total number of calories per serving. Remember to increase the amount of nutrients and Percent Daily Value (%DV) by the amount of servings you eat. For example, if you eat two servings, you will need to double the amount of nutrients and %DV.
Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. For a 2,000 calorie diet, you’ll need to limit your total fat intake to 56-78 grams a day— no more than 16 grams of saturated fat, less than two grams of trans fat, and less than 300 mg of cholesterol.
Fibers, vitamins and other nutrients. Be sure to get 100 percent of these nutrients, particularly iron and calcium. Women from 19-50 years of age need 18 milligrams of iron and 1,000-1,500 milligrams of calcium per day to fight of iron deficiencies and build up bone density.
Keep in mind: The Nutrition Facts label is based on a 2,000 calorie diet. In general, women need to consume at least 1,200 calories—depending on age, weight and level of activity. You can find your suggested daily caloric needs using the American Heart Association’s online tool, My Fats Translator.