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Healtheuniversity > English > Diabetes College > Eat Healthy > Read Food Labels > Nutrition Facts Table

Nutrition Facts Table

The nutrition facts table lets you know how much fat, protein, carbohydrate, and other nutrients are in the food you eat.

You can use the nutrition facts table to help you manage your diabetes.

  • Look for the amount of nutrients in the foods you choose.
  • Compare the amount of nutrients in different foods so you can make the healthier choice.
  • Know what words to look for on the ingredients list to know if the food has saturated fat, trans fat, sodium or sugar.

The nutrition facts table gives you information about the amount of fat, protein, carbohydrate, and other nutrients in food.

To manage your diabetes, look for the amount of:

Know what words to look for on the ingredients list to know if the food has saturated fat, trans fat, sodium or sugar.

Carbohydrate

nutrition_facts_table.jpgThe amount of carbohydrate on the nutrition facts table is for total carbohydrate. This total includes starch, fibre and sugars.

Note: If you are counting carbohydrates to manage your blood sugar, subtract the amount of fibre from the total carbohydrate listed. Do this because fibre does not raise your blood sugar.

Use the label on this page as an example.

  • There are 36 grams (g) of total carbohydrate
  • There are 11 grams (g) of fibre
  • Subtract the amount of fibre (11g) from the total carbohydrate (36g)
    • 36g (total carbohydrate) subtract 11g (fibre) equals 25g
  • This means there are 25 grams of carbohydrate that will turn into sugar in your body (instead of 36 grams)
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Fibre

Fibre helps to manage your blood sugar, blood cholesterol and blood pressure. Aim to eat 25 to 50 grams of fibre every day to keep your body healthy and manage your blood sugar.

  • Look for products that have a % Daily Value (% DV) of fibre of at least 15% to help you decide between products. 
  • Compare the % DV of fibre between two products. A product with the higher % DV is the higher fibre choice.

The % DV is found on the right-hand side of a nutrition facts table. It is a guide to help you make informed food choices.

Use the % DV to:

  1. Compare two foods to help you make an informed food choice, or
  2. Choose foods that are
    1. higher in the nutrients you may want more of (such as fibre) or
    2. lower in the nutrients you want to avoid or eat less of (such as saturated fat, trans fats and sodium).
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Sugars

The amount of sugar on the nutrition facts table includes sugars found naturally in foods (like in fruit and milk) plus added sugars such as white sugar, honey and syrups. 

Aim to lower the amount of food and drinks you have that include added sugar or are sweetened. Look at the ingredient list to see if a food has added sugars.

Look at the ingredient list to see if a food has added sugars.

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Fat

The amount of fat in your food is on the nutrition facts table.

Look for products with little saturated fat and no trans fat. Use the % DV to help you. A food with 5% DV or less of saturated fat is a low fat choice.

Look at the ingredient list to see if a food has saturated fat and trans fat.

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Sodium

The amount of sodium in your food is also listed on the nutrition facts table. Too much sodium can increase your risk for high blood pressure.

A food with 5% DV of sodium or less is a low sodium choice.

Sodium appears in many forms. Look at the ingredient list to see if a food has sodium.

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What to Look For on the Ingredient List

NutrientWhat to look for on the ingredient list

Saturated fat

These ingredients tell you there is saturated fat in the food:

  • butter
  • coconut or coconut oil
  • lard, shortening, suet, chicken fat, bacon fat, tallow or beef fat
  • cocoa butter
  • palm or palm kernel oil
  • powdered whole milk solids

Trans fat

These ingredients tell you there is trans fat in the food:

  • hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats and oils
  • margarine and shortening made with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats or oils

Sodium

These ingredients tell you there is sodium in the food:

  • soy sauce
  • fish sauce

Sugar

‚ÄčThese ingredients tell you there is sugar in the food:

  • molasses
  • fruit puree
  • liquid sugar
  • honey
  • juice
  • invert sugar
  • cane sugar
  • agave
  • dextrin
  • sugar beets
  • sucrose
  • dextrose
  • maple syrup
  • brown sugar
  • glucose-fructose
  • malt syrup
  • anhydrous dextrose
  • brown rice syrup
  • cane syrup
  • fruit-juice concentrate
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • high maltose corn syrup

Table adapted from Eat Right Ontario (opens in new window)

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