As a meat head, and now even more, as a mom, I am always turning food packages over to look at the Nutrition Facts and the Ingredient Statements. They have to be on the food package or provided to the consumer is some easy-to-access way. There are a few exemptions for small processors and very small food packages, but for the most part, they have to be there.
This is a Nutrition Fact label from some beef jerky. I downloaded it off the internet.
Trans fats are found naturally in some foods and are produced in some foods during cooking and processing. They are actually unsaturated fats that have been altered so that they act like saturated fats in foods and in your body (that may be a topic for a whole other blog post). There is no dietary requirement for trans fats, so no percentage will be provided, but the Dietary Guidelines suggest that you limit your trans fat intake, so the amount found in foods provided on the nutrition label.
Cholesterol is going to be found in most foods that come from animal sources. The recommended daily value for cholesterol is 300 mg.
Sodium is most commonly associated with salt. Although sodium is a requirement for basic metabolism, Americans generally consume more sodium than what is recommended (2,300 mg). Sodium can be ‘hidden’ in lots of foods. Most people associate high sodium levels with salty snacks and processed meats (bologna, hot dogs, ham), but foods like breads, cheese, and especially ready-to-eat meals like Asian noodle dishes or instant soups. Several foods contain sodium and sodium content is related to total calorie intake. It’s very hard to control sodium intake, but I try to keep an eye on it.