How Do I Determine The Amount Of Iron I’m Getting In Food?

I read your column on food labels. Thanks for the tips. However, while the label provides the percentage of the daily value for iron, it doesn’t give me an actual number. I’m trying to keep track of my iron intake and don’t know how many milligrams of iron are in a serving of the foods that I eat.

Not to worry. Below is another cheat sheet that lists the “Daily Value” — the reference amounts used on food labels for each vitamin and mineral. These reference amounts give you a ballpark estimate of the amount of each vitamin and mineral that you need daily.

To figure out how many milligrams of iron are getting in a serving of food, simply multiply the percentage of the daily value per serving by the reference amount for the mineral listed below. (The reference amount for iron is 18 milligrams.)

For example, if a serving of food is listed as providing 5 percent of the daily value for iron, you can do the math by multiplying 18 milligrams by 0.05, for an answer of just shy of one gram of iron per serving.

Here’s a list of the reference numbers for various vitamins and minerals:

Vitamins Daily Values Used
on Food Labels
Vitamin A 875 µg RAE
Vitamin B12 6 µg
Vitamin B6 2 mg
Vitamin C 60mg
Vitamin D 10µg
Riboflavin 1.7 mg
Thiamin 1.5 mg
Niacin 20 mg NE
Folate 400 µg

The information provided on Health Search Online is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.