How To Read A Nutrition Label Correctly? Understand The Key Terms!


A nutrition label is a label seen on most supplements that include the essential details about the nutrients used in the supplement.

They are the small rectangular boxes you can see behind the supplement bottle. This is essential in many countries to sell the supplement.

The goal of including a nutrition table is to help people find information about the thing they are putting into their bodies. Most of the nutrition labels follow the official nutrition system.

Steps To Read A Nutrition Table Correctly

The common facts included in the nutrition label are Nutrition content, serving size, and calories recommended.

When you know how to read a nutrition table properly, you may pick and choose among competing brands with confidence. The steps to read a nutrition table correctly are given below:

Read A Nutrition Label Correctly

Step 1 – Look For The Net Quantity And Dosage Of The Supplement 

This detail is important. Here you have to give special attention to the serving amount one should take while using the supplement. Taking the extra amount that has been suggested may cause other side effects to your body.

Step 2 – Identify The Total Calorie The Supplement Provides And The Calories You Will Have Per Day

You will have to find out the total calorie you will be consuming a day and compare it to the calorie you must have a day. 

Step 3 – The Ingredients Quantity

The first and foremost thing everyone will look for in a nutrition label is the ingredients used in the supplement. This section must be clear and easy to identify. Always try to buy any dietary supplement after reading its ingredient section.

You will be able to identify whether this supplement includes any kind of ingredients that might be allergic to you. The section sometimes includes how much percentage of the ingredients content is included in the formula or sometimes just given its name only.

It is the user’s duty to thoroughly go through the ingredient list, only then you will be able to identify whether the product is good for them or not.

Step 4 – Use Other Sources Of Information If You Come Across Any Kind Of Unknown Information

It is common if you come across unknown words in the nutrition tables. That might be related to medical terms.

If you have any difficulties identifying them you may take any expert’s opinion or you can simply search about that in the internet, and you will be able to identify what does that mean.

Things You May Notice And Should Be Careful About While Choosing A Dietary Supplement:

  • Always consider the nutrition percentage as a guide to identifying the quality of the supplement.
  • There are nutrition terms like fat-free, calorie-free, and low-calorie. Be familiar with that, for example, calorie-free means less than 5 calories per serving, and fat-free means less than 0.5g of fat.
  • Choose supplements that are low in fat, added sugar, and sodium. 
  • Choose supplements according to the high percentage of vitamins minerals and fiber. 
  • Apart from these consider the percentages of nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, etc.
The Common Terms In A Nutrient Table

Some Of The Common Terms In A Nutrient Table May Give You False Information About The Ingredients:

  • Low-Calorie – These products may include one-third of the number of calories the original product contains.
  • Low-Fat – This means that the supplement contains less than 0.5g of fat.
  • Gluten-Free – These products may not contain barley or wheat but that doesn’t mean it is healthy. This may include unhealthy fat substitutes.
  • Fruit-Flavored – chemicals that is tastes like fruits are added.
  • Zero-Fat – Using this label more sugar gets added.
  • Whole Grains Used– Added might very little amount of whole grains. If it does not come in the first three positions of the ingredient list, then the amount is much less.

According to the FDA foods that contain more than one ingredient must have nutrition labels. Another thing about the ingredients list is that they are listed in the descending order of their weight in the supplement.

This will be helpful for people searching for a particular nutrient in a food. Knowing the nutrition table of a supplement you are buying will help you to improve the quality of your health. 

Dr. Jun Ren is a dedicated and experienced registered dietitian and nutritionist who is committed to helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition plans. With a passion for promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases, Dr. Ren has been able to assist numerous clients in improving their overall quality of life.

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