How to Calculate % of Daily Value on Food Labels

People often say they want to eat healthier. One of the first steps to take is examining nutritional value prior to purchasing foods. Food labels include most relevant information, including calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrate content. Vitamin and mineral levels are also included. These numbers do not mean much unless you know how much of these nutrients you should be eating daily. The percent of daily value provides this context. Percent of daily value is included for many nutrients but not all.

A basic calculator can help to calculate the percent of daily value for specific nutrients.
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Step 1

Find the nutrient amount on the food label.

Step 2

Look up the total daily recommended amount in the USDA Dietary Guidelines.

Step 3

Divide the nutrient amount by the total daily recommended value.

Step 4

Multiply by 100.

Things You'll Need

  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines

  • Food label

  • Calculator

Tip

To find your specific dietary needs, consult a doctor or registered nutritionist.

Warning

The USDA dietary guidelines are based on a 2,000-calorie diet for the general population. Specific dietary needs vary based on age, gender, activity level, health risks and conditions.

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