The percent daily values are based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet. They are listed in a table below the Nutrition Facts label. The information in this table is the same on all food products. (Small food products may not have this table if there is not enough room for it). These values are based on expert dietary advice about some of the nutrients you should get each day.
The label can help you figure out how much of these nutrients you should get each day. For example, if you have a 2,000 calorie goal you should eat less than 65 grams of total fat per day. You should eat as little saturated fat as possible. Focus on eating healthier fats. Too much cholesterol and sodium are both harmful to your health. The recommended amounts of cholesterol and sodium are the same for both the 2000 and 2500 calorie diets.
The daily values are a good guide. For example, just knowing that one serving of macaroni and cheese contains 3 grams of fat is not very helpful. But to know that this 3 grams accounts for 5% of the total amount you should have in a day is more useful.
Comparing Percent Daily Values
The percent daily value makes it easy for you to compare the nutrient contents of different brands of the same kinds of foods. Check the serving size first to make sure that it is the same. This can help you choose the food with the lower percentage of fat or the higher percentage of calcium, for example.