Sponsored: What should I look at on the Nutrition Facts panel?
The first thing you should pay attention to on the Nutrition Facts panel (the black and white panel on the side or back of an item) is the SERVING SIZE. The Nutrition Facts panel represents a breakdown of the nutrition of an item for a specific serving.
In some cases the Nutrition Facts panel may display more than one column showing nutrition facts if you consumer the entire package. Often the Nutrition Facts panel represents the entire package or bottle. Serving sizes are determined by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and represent standard serving sizes of what people normally eat or drink. These are broken down into unit measurements by grams or ounces. For example, a serving size of some crackers may be 4 crackers if the crackers are large and 11 crackers if the crackers are small. There are also standard or reference amounts for different items, for example, a standard amount for beverages is 8 ounces.
If your beverage comes in a container that is larger than 8 ounces it may indicate multiple servings in the container or it may list the Nutrition Facts based on the entire container.
Bottom Line: Be sure and check your SERVING SIZE first. This is not a recommendation of how much to eat but what is considered a typical serving size and it tells you a lot of information about what is in that particular serving.
For more information: www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/food-serving-sizes-get-reality-check
Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN
Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian