Nutritional Information

Understanding Nutrition Labels

Nutrition labels provide important information about the food product you are buying.
Key things to look for include:

Serving Size

It will vary between brands and it must be considered when comparing similar foods.

Energy

Measured by the number of calories per portion, expressed in kilojoules (kJ), energy is supplied by proteins, lipids (fats), and carbohydrates.

Protein

The total amount of protein may determine your choice of main dishes from the meat (or alternatives) and cheese groups.

Fats

The total fat content per portion is usually indicated in a percentage(%). In certain cases, the content of each type of fat is specified.

Carbohydrates

When only total amounts of sugars, starches, and fibres are given, note the order of the ingredients and rely on your taste buds to detect sugar levels.

Sodium

The amount of salt in your diet should be limited to 2400 mg per day or 800 mg per meal. Health Canada's Nutrition Recommendation for Canadians states the sodium content of the Canadian diet be reduced.

Making Balanced Food Choices

In today’s busy world, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet can be difficult. These tips can help:

Desserts

Choose deserts that are milk based or contain fruits or whole grain cereal products. Fat content should be 5 g or less per portion.

Cereals

Look for cereals enriched with iron that have 6 g of sugar or less and 2 - 3g or more of fibre per serving.

Cheeses

Look for cheeses that contain 20% or less fat content.

Milk

Choose partially skimmed (1% or 2%) or skim milk and 2% or less yogourt.

Main dishes

Maintain a balanced diet. The amount of food you need everyday from the 4 food groups and other foods depends on your age, body size, activity level, whether you are male or female, and if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. That's why Canada's Food Guide gives a lower and higher number of servings for each food group.

Mandatory Nutrition Labeling

Health Canada introduced regulations making nutrition labeling mandatory on most packaged foods. The Nutrition Facts table will give you the information you need to make informed food choices and compare products. Consumer interest, health needs and expanding scientific knowledge on the role food plays in health and disease all contributed to the content and look of the Nutrition Facts table. This new labeling system, combined with public education, will help to reinforce information about healthy eating practices.

  • The Nutrition Facts table is easy to find, easy to read, and on more foods;
  • Use Nutrition Facts, the list of ingredients and nutrition claims of food;
  • To determine the nutritional value of the food, the serving has to be compared to the amount of food actually eaten;
  • Use the % Daily Value to see if a serving of the food has a lot or a little of a nutrient.
  • Health Canada 
  • Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating 


Top of Page
Top