Nutrition labelling: Nutrition facts table

Learn about the nutrition facts table and how to use it, including information on serving size, calories and percent daily value (% DV).

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What is the nutrition facts table

Most packaged foods in Canada must have a nutrition facts table, which shows:

  • the serving size
  • how many calories are in that serving size
  • the amount of 12 nutrients expressed in units like grams (g) and milligrams (mg), per serving size
  • percent daily values (% DVs)

How to use the nutrition facts table

The information in the nutrition facts table is based on the serving size. The serving size is not a recommendation of how much of the food you should eat.

The % DV is a quick reference to tell you if a food product contains a little or a lot of a certain nutrient:

  • 5% DV or less is a little
  • 15% DV or more is a lot

Use the % DV to compare different food products to help you make informed food choices.

The nutrition facts table can help you to identify nutrients you may want to limit, such as:

  • sodium
  • sugars
  • saturated fat

The nutrition facts table can also help you to identify nutrients you may want more of, such as:

  • iron
  • fibre
  • calcium
  • potassium

Learn more about the table of daily values that are used to calculate the % DV.

Food products without a nutrition facts table

Some products don't have to display a nutrition facts table, including:

  • alcoholic beverages
  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • refillable glass dairy containers
  • very small packages, such as one-bite candy
  • raw, single-ingredient meat, poultry, fish and seafood (except ground meat)
  • items with insignificant calories and nutrients, such as herbs and spices
  • food sold by small-batch producers, such as those sold at craft shows and farmer's markets
  • food sold only in grocery stores where the product is prepared or packaged in-store
  • individual portions for immediate consumption, such as a sandwich or muffin sold in plastic wrap

Restaurants and food service businesses don't need to provide a nutrition facts table with their products.

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