As of December 2005, all major food companies introduced the new nutrition label on their packaged foods. The main part of the new label is the Nutrition Facts Table, which gives you the following information: Calories and 13 nutrients: Fat, Saturated fat, Trans fat, Cholesterol, Sodium, Carbohydrate, Fibre, Sugars, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron.
Five easy steps to help you read the label.
You can use the Nutrition Facts to:
Here's an example...
Beef Burgers vs. Chicken Burgers
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for an iron-rich food, the beef burger is your best bet. However, if you’re looking for a lower fat option (but much higher in sodium), then the chicken burger is the one to choose.
Source: Health Canada
Nutrition claims provide a snapshot about the amount of one specific nutrient in a food, such as fibre or fat. While nutrition claims are optional, they must meet government regulations before appearing on a package.
Here are some examples of common claims:
"Source of fibre" means the food contains at least 2 grams of fibre in the amount of food specified in the Nutrition Facts table. "High source of fibre" means at least 4 grams of fibre, and "Very high source of fibre" is at least 6 grams of fibre.
"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.
The claim "Cholesterol-free" means that the product has a very small 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.
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" has at least 25% less energy (Calories) than the food it is being compared to ? most of the time, it’s being compared to the regular version of that food
The term "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, for example light tasting or light coloured.