Labels help consumers make decisions when choosing foods. Several types of nutritional information are found on food labels:
- nutrition facts table
- ingredients list
- nutrient and health claims
Only the nutrition fact table and the ingredient list must be on packages in Canada.
The nutrition facts table
This label provides information on the amount of 13 core nutrients and calories in an amount of food. It is important to compare similar kinds of food to in order to make better food choices.
The ingredients list
This list shows all of the ingredients in a packaged food, beginning with the ingredient that weighs the most and ending with the ingredient that weighs the least. The ingredients list provides information about nutrients and is helpful for people with allergies.
Foods must meet a certain criteria before nutrition claims are allowed, and the wording of claims is regulated to ensure they are not misleading. These claims are optional and are not found on all foods. An example of a nutritional claim: “An excellent source of calcium and vitamin D”.
These are claims about certain foods and what they can to do you health if consumed. Health Canada regulations specify the criteria a food must meet before a health claim can be made, as well as the wording of a claim to ensure that it is consistent and not misleading.
Visit Health Canada’s website for more detail and examples of food labels: Nutrition Labelling