Nutrition Fact Labels Get a New Look
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts Label to help you make better food choices for good health. Although these changes won’t make their debut for another two years here is a sneak peek to what you can expect.
Print: Larger and Bolder
I can’t promise you won’t have to whip out your reading glasses but hopefully the calories and servings will now be large enough and bold enough, you can stow away your magnifying glass.
Serving Sizes: More Realistic
Serving sizes will be more represented of the size we actually eat or drink. When a can of soup holds between one and two servings, the calories and nutrient information now must be labeled as one serving because that’s how people usually eat it. Sodas will be based on a 12-ounce serving, not 8-ounces and ice cream will be based on ½ cup rather than 1/3 cup.
The total sugar will include both added and natural sugars and there will be individual item lines to give you the breakdown. It’s important to keep in mind fruit and dairy products have natural sugars and the processed foods have added sugars. Example, white milk with natural occurring sugar versus chocolate milk that contains added sugar.
The Nutrients: The Starting Line Up
Vitamin D and Potassium be added to the labels since many Americans don’t get enough and the lack of intake can result in chronic disease.
The Nutrients: Cut from the Team
Vitamin A and C are not a requirement any more. They were cut because deficiencies in these nutrients are rare. Also taking a back seat is the item line “Calories from Fat”. It’s more important to identify the type of fat (mono/polyunsaturated versus trans or saturated) from the product rather than the total value.
Keep it Low: Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium
Saturated fat and cholesterol have not been changed but it’s important to keep in mind these nutrients in overabundance can lead to cardiovascular disease and poor health. As a result research, there was a slight variation in the daily value of sodium (from 2,400mg to 2,300mg).
The bottom line:
The nutrition fact labels were created to help you compare products to make the best choices. The new labels will make it simpler to eat for good health.