How to Read Food Labels

By reading nutrition labels, you can figure out how much calcium is in the foods you eat. Nutrition labels show a “percent daily value” or daily need for calcium.

The daily value used for these labels is 1,000 milligrams, the daily recommendation for many adults. However, if you need 1500 mg of calcium per day, the percent daily value for calcium will underestimate the percent of your daily need.

You can change the percentage of calcium into milligrams easily. Simply remove the percent sign and add a zero to the percent daily value. So if a food label says one serving has calcium at 20 percent, it has 200 mg of calcium. Remember to check the serving size on the top of the label and adjust the number to your serving size.

Note: Remember, this trick only works for the calcium percent daily value and not any of the other nutrients.