Recently the food/nutrition label requirements were changed by the Food and Drug Administration. So what is different, and how does this affect you?
- Serving Sizes: Servings per container and serving size information appear in large, bold font. Serving sizes have also been updated to better reflect the amount people typically eat and drink today. It’s more tangible (think cups) versus something that no one really knows (like grams). Note: the serving size is not a recommendation of how much to eat. Determining your caloric needs is based on multiple factors such as gender, age, and weight. Working with a registered dietitian can help you determine your custom nutrition needs.
- Calories: Calories are now in larger and bolder font to make the information easier to find and use.
- The Lows and Highs of % Daily Value: As a general guide: 5% DV or less of a nutrient per serving is considered low, and 20% DV or more of a nutrient per serving is considered high.
- Nutrients– The Updated List: What information is no longer required on the label?
- Calories from fat have been removed from the nutrition label because research shows the type of fat consumed is more important than the amount. AKA– less saturated and trans fats, more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
- Vitamin A and C are no longer listed on the label because deficiencies of these vitamins are rare today.
What information was added to the label?
- Added sugars have been added to the label because consuming too much added sugars can make it hard to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits. These include sugars that are added during the processing of foods (such as sucrose or dextrose), foods packaged as sweeteners (such as table sugar), sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices.
- Vitamin D and potassium are now required to be listed on the label because it has been shown that Americans do not always consume the recommended amounts. Bonus: diets higher in Vitamin D and potassium can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and high blood pressure.
What is staying the same?
- Calcium and iron will continue to be listed on the label because Americans do not often consume the recommended amounts. Bonus: consuming more calcium and iron can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and anemia, respectively.