I get asked about percent daily value a lot. If you don’t know what I am referring to it is the percentages that are on the right hand side of a nutrition facts table. I am sure a few of you out there are avid label readers. The first thing I have to say is many great food choices come without a nutrition facts label, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean cuts of meat or fresh fish and freshly baked whole grain breads. Secondly, it is a good idea to read the ingredient list of processed foods. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient names then it’s probably a good idea to put the item back. Then you can proceed to the nutrition facts table and comparing it to other similar products. Remember to look at the amount of food and make sure you are making a fair comparison, some brands of bread will have 1 slice listed as the serving size while others have 2. The percent daily value can help you identify if the product has “a little” or “a lot” of certain nutrients. You want to get more fiber, Vitamin A, Calcium and Iron but less fat, saturated and trans fats and sodium. Health Canada just launched a new website to help consumers further understand labels and the percent daily value. It includes some interactive tools as well, check it out www.healthcanada.gc.ca/dailyvalue .