SILVER SPRING, Md., Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- February is American Heart Month, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a simple tool to help you achieve a heart-healthy lifestyle! It's called the Nutrition Facts Label, and you can find it on all packaged foods and beverages.
The Nutrition Facts Label lets you know exactly what you're eating and helps you track the various nutrients you are getting from the foods you eat. What's more, it serves as your overall guide for comparing foods and making choices that can affect your long-term health.
Using the Percent Daily Value to Limit Certain Nutrients
To help reduce your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, you can use the Percent Daily Value (%DV) information provided on the Nutrition Facts Label. The %DV gives you a framework for deciding if a food is high or low in a nutrient – including the ones you are trying to limit.
The %DVs are based on a 2,000-calorie daily diet, and each listed nutrient is based on 100% of the recommended amounts for that nutrient. As a quick guide, 5% DV or less is low, and 20% DV or more is high!
So, when comparing foods, choose the food with the lower %DV of sodium, total fat, and cholesterol. And remember, the guidelines for sodium, total fat, and cholesterol are maximum amounts. To promote heart health, the goal is to stay below 100% of the Daily Value for these nutrients each day.