The serving size, calories and the % daily value make up this piece on Part 7 of Know Your Nutrition Label. Did you know that the percent daily values listed on the food label is based on a 2,000 calorie diet? If you are trying to lose weight 2,000 calories per day may not work for you. The United States Food and Drug Administration requires that all food labels provide the percent daily value of each macronutrient in each serving. In addition, the labels must list the total number of calories per serving. You can use this information to make wise choices and to help you control your caloric intake. The only catch is that your recommended daily intake (RDI) is affected by many variables. The RDI is affected by the following:
- Current Weight
- Level Activity
Talk to your doctor to help you determine what your individual caloric needs should be. Also, you can use Google to find RDI calculators on the internet. Secondly, in this age of technology you can download apps from Google Play and the Apple Store that can help you determine your RDI. Most weight loss apps will help you track your daily caloric intake. Check out the “Lose It” app which is a popular favorite.
For your general information you should know that one pound equals 3500 calories. Thus if you want to lose one pound per week, you need to burn 3500 calories per week. A combination of taking in less calories and burning calories through exercise can help you do that.
In summary if you are wanting to lose or maintain your weight you must understand that the % Daily Value is based on a 2,000 calorie. Thus your first step should be to determine what your RDI is. Lastly, you should stick to the recommended daily serving size, otherwise if you consume more than the recommened daily serving size you risk gaining weight.
by Marjorie Binette, MD