Over the past few decades, a wider range of affordable, packaged foods have become available. There are also more convenience foods aimed at the busy family.
In Canada, nutrition labelling laws require food companies to identify the nutrients in packaged goods in a consistent way. Food product packaging includes a wide range of information about your food: ingredients, nutrition facts and nutrition claims. When comparing and choosing between food products, it helps to understand this information so you can make better choices for you and your family.
The ingredients on a food package label are listed in descending order by weight. For example, the ingredients that appear first in the list make up a greater share of the food product.
Nutrition facts table
Nutrition facts tables are required on all foods by law.
Click on the guide below to learn more about nutrition facts.
The Nutrition Facts table gives information for a single serving of a food product. The serving size on the label may be smaller or larger than what you consider to be a single serving.
fresh, frozen or canned
apple, orange, peach, pear
white, wild, or brown
(1 1/2 oz)
plain or flavoured
cottage or quark
75 grams (2 1/2 oz)
Nutrition claims on packaged foods are also protected by law. They are designed to help consumers make informed decisions about food at a glance.
The Canadian government has rules about the amount of a nutrient that must be in a food before the food company can put a claim on the packaging. You can see some examples below.
|Source of fibre
||Contains at least 2 g of fibre
||Contains no more than 3 g of fat in the amount specified
||Contains a negligible amount (normally less than 2 mg)
||Contains less than 5 mg of sodium
||Contains 25% fewer calories than the food it is being compared to
||Reduced in fat or calories