WHAT DO THOSE PERCENTAGE DAILY VALUES MEAN?
As children, we were taught in elementary school that a balanced diet is one which contains the classes of food in sufficient quantity. However, who determines sufficient? How many know what amounts of nutrients are to be had in a day, and how to spread this across meals so that the daily requirement is met. That’s what the percentage daily values in the Nutrition Facts labels of your store-bought products are for. Daily Value is a term on food labels based on the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) designed to help consumers use food label information to plan a healthy diet.
The purpose of the DV is to show you how much of your Daily (nutritional) Value for foods to be consumed are contained in the products being consumed. The Daily Value is determined by the RDI (The Reference Daily Intake) is the daily intake level of a nutrient that is considered to be sufficient to meet the requirements of 97–98% of healthy individuals in every demographic in the United States. While developed for the US population, it has been adopted by several other countries.
DAILY NUTRITION REQUIREMENTS
See below an example of recommended Dietary Reference Values.
Sources of Energy
|Nutrient||Population average % of food energy|
|Saturated Fatty Acid||Not more than 11%|
|Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid||6.5%|
|Monounsaturated Fatty Acid||13%|
|Trans fats||Not more than 2%|
|Total Fat||Not more than 35%|
|Non-milk extrinsic sugars||Not more than 11%|
|Intrinsic milk sugars and starch||39%|
|Fibre as non-starch polysaccharide||18% [not applicable to children under 5]|
|Age||Target salt intake (grams per day)|
|0–6 months||Less than 1g|
|Nutrient||1-3yrs||4-6yrs||7-10yrs||11-14yrs||15-18yrs||Adults 19-50 yrs||Adults 50+|
|Vitamin A (retinol equivalents)||400mcg||400mcg||500mcg||600mcg||700mcg||700mcg||700mcg|
Note that children, adults and special factors like pregnancy means that all candidates are not treated to equal rules.
KEY: MCG = Microgrammes