SILVER SPRING, Md., /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – February is American Heart Month. Cardiovascular disease — including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure — is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States. That’s why it’s important to protect your heart health not only this month, but throughout your lifetime.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a simple tool called the Nutrition Facts Label, and it can help you make heart-healthy dietary choices in February and every day throughout the year. The Nutrition Facts Label is found on packaged foods and beverages. It lets you see exactly what you’re eating and how a particular food (and the nutrients it contains) fits into your daily diet. Use it to compare foods and make choices that can affect your long-term health!
Get Less of Certain Nutrients
The Nutrition Facts Label helps you track specific nutrients that can have an impact on heart health. The Percent Daily Value (%DV) information shown on the Nutrition Facts Label gives a framework for deciding if a food is high or low in specific nutrients – including the ones you are trying to limit.
To help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, compare nutrients and choose foods with a lower %DV of sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and try to stay below 100 percent DV for these nutrients every day. Use this general guideline when comparing nutrients in food:
• 5% DV or less per serving of a particular nutrient is low
• 20% DV or more per serving of a particular nutrient is high
And remember, the %DV listed is for one serving, but many packages contain more than one serving! So, look at the serving size and how many servings you are actually consuming.