Understanding the Nutrition Facts Table

The Nutrition Facts Table is required on the majority of food products in Canada to ensure Canadians are able to make educated, informed decisions about the food they are purchasing and its nutritional content.

 

Feature

In-depth details

Serving Size

Shows a serving size of the product and is provided in measures such as grams (g), cups, or millilitres (ml). All of the nutritional information on the label relates to the serving size listed at the top. Compare the serving size quantity with the volume consumed.

Calories

This value is the total number of calories contained in the serving size listed.

% Daily Value or (%DV)

The percentage shown beside the nutrients lets you know if there is a little or a lot of a particular nutrient in a serving.

Fat

Lists the total amount of fat with the quantity of saturated and trans fat.

Cholesterol

 

Sodium

Displays the quantity of sodium included in the serving. The percent daily value is based on a maximum daily intake of 2,300 mg. Foods with 15 percent or more are considered high.

Carbohydrates

Total amount is listed first. This number includes starch, sugars, and fibre. (Starch is not listed separately.)

Fibre

Lists the total amount of fiber included in the serving.

 


New food labelling requirements

Original Vs. New Nutrition facts table

Nutrition facts table

The changes to the nutrition facts table include:

  • Changes to Serving Size based on new regulated Reference Amounts requirement for food.  The changes are different for single serve and multi-serving packages.
  • Increased font size of serving size and calories and added bold line under the calorie.
  • Revised % daily values for Fat, Carbohydrate, Protein, Sodium, Vitamins and Minerals.
  • Adding a new % daily value for Total Sugars.
  • Changes to the list of nutrients by adding Potassium and removing Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
  • Adding the amounts in milligrams (mg) for Potassium, Calcium and Iron.
  • Adding a footnote at the bottom of the table about % daily value.
    • This helps consumers understand how much sugar and other nutrients (like sodium) are in their food:
      • 5% or less is a little
      • 15% or more is a lot

Updated List of ingredients

List of ingredients

The changes to the list of ingredients include:

  • Grouping sugars-based ingredients in brackets after the name ‘sugars’
    • This helps consumers identify all of the sources of sugars added to a food
  • Listing food colours by their individual common names
  • Making the text in black font on white or neutral background
  • Creating minimum type height requirements for ingredients
  • Using bullets or commas to separate ingredients
  • Using both upper and lower case letters for the ingredients in the list
    • The same format rules will apply to any ‘contains’ statement indicating the presence or potential presence of:
      • priority food allergens
      • gluten sources
      • added sulphites

Food Colours

  • All food colours will be declared by their common name rather than the generic term “colour”.

 

Health Claims

  • A new health claim will also be allowed on fruits and vegetables, informing consumers about the health benefits of these foods.

Comparing products

With the nutrition facts table, the Government of Canada has mandated that the food manufacturers provide the same nutritional information to allow consumers to make informed decisions. Another tool that consumers can use is to look for the Food Labels Canada Verified Label mark on products which indicates that the information conforms to the mandated government standards.


Eating right

The Eat Well plate helps you follow Canada's food guide when planning and serving meals. Food groups are portioned on the plate and encourages you to make half of your plate a mix of vegetables and fruit.

 

Click Here to get started on planning your next healthy meal.