How to Calculate Nutritional Values

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Food labels give a few nutritional values based on a standard 2,000 calories per day, but you can also calculate the percentages of each nutrient on your own. See how it's done in this free video on nutritional calculations.

Part of the Video Series: Nutritional Calculations
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Charlotte Lawson, a registered and licensed dietitian, and I'm going to help you calculate your nutrient values or more or less determine what the daily percent value is of certain foods that you eat. Fortunately, a lot of this work is already done for us on our nutrition facts label. And you might be wondering how do I determine if that level is appropriate for me, or what do those percentages even mean. Well keep in mind the nutrition facts label is a very general guide. Meaning it's set at a 2,000 calorie level daily intake. Now, that could be more or less than what your particular body needs. So, I suggest figuring out your nutritional daily needs by either plugging into an accredited equation, or checking with your dietitian. Now, the daily percent value means what component or what portion of that food or food component is providing towards your calories or daily nutrient needs. Now, a recommended daily allowance says are an average of the amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat we should have, as well as the amount of vitamin and minerals we should have at a daily intake level. Now in general, our macronutrients or the things that provide us calories, which are the carbohydrates, which typically you want to aim for 50 to 60 percent of your diet coming from carbohydrates, are fats, which really only need about 20 percent or so, and out protein. Again, 20 to 30 percent. All with a little bit of you know slip and slide room in between. Now, when you look at a nutrition facts label, here I have an example, we can look at our total calories, which I said are combined of a few things. Your fat, your carbohydrates, and your protein. Now, by doing a simple percentage, you can see what percentage of those calories are coming from these different nutrients. So, for instance, they've actually calculated the amount of calories to fat already for us. So, we can take a calculator and do a simple percentage calculation. So, 120 dividing into 260 equals about 46. This means this product is 46 percent fat or 46 percent of those calories come from fat. Now here we have five grams of protein. So, we know five. I'm going to multiply that by 4 because each gram of protein provides us with four calories. So I have 20 calories coming from protein. 20 divided into 260 is only about seven point six percent, so not a significant source of protein here. But again, those are simple ways to find out the. You can find out more specific daily values. But again, use this as a tool, it's very well rounded, lots of scientific research, and 2,000 calories is a pretty good estimate for most people. That's just a little bit of information on calculating the percentage on nutritional values. I'm Charlotte, and eat happy.

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