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How to Read a Label
Nutrition check – How to Read a Label

Key information to look for on labels:

Ingredient list:

Ingredients are listed by decreasing order of weight of the ingredient purchased by the manufacturer before its transformation. Ingredients such as chicken, beef and lamb contain more than 50 percent water. Because of this high water content, their weight is heavier than that of dry ingredients like grains, meat flours, minerals and vitamins. The fact that meat is at the top of the list does not necessarily mean that it is the food that is in larger quantities in the diet, but rather it is the heaviest.

Guaranteed analysis:

The guaranteed analysis gives consumers information about the nutrients in foods. It indicates the minimum and maximum amounts of nutrients such as proteins, fibre and fats in a product. But consumers must keep in mind that it offers no indication of food quality. Even if two products present the same analysis, the real nutrient content of each may be very different.

Nutritional adequacy statement:

The nutritional adequacy statement indicates if the food offers a complete and balanced diet for growing animals, gestating or nursing females or adults. Consumers should note whether the statement declares the product "fit for all life stages", since it may contain excessive or insufficient amounts of nutrients that make it unsuitable for very young or aging animals.

Manufacturer's name and toll-free phone number:

Consumers are encouraged to call a 1-800 number for product information not provided on the label such as real nutrient content and calorie content.