The FDA proposed an update to the Nutrition Facts label last week. The existing label is 20+ years old; it’s really time to do so! Have you had a chance to take a look at the changes? I’ve taken the time to digest the information and am growing to like the changes more and more.
Top 5 Things You Should Know about the New Nutrition Labels
1. Serving Size Update
I’ve spoken about the serving size issue many times. A bag of small chips is not meant to have two servings! The proposed change will require a candy bar to list nutrition information for the whole bar, not a third of a bar.
2. Micronutrients Update
I’ve always wondered why I need to know the percent DV of Vitamin A, and why I have to guess how much calcium is actually present. The new label will continue to list calcium and iron, but will scrap listing Vitamins A and C, which will be replaced with Vitamin D and potassium! Hallelujah!! In addition to percent DV, the actual amount of these four nutrients will be shown.
3. Added Sugar Gets a Spot
After the proposed change is implemented, when you grab a box of chocolate milk, you will see both sugar and added sugar. That will help you determine how much extra sugar is added, not to be confused with naturally occurring sugar. This will help you count your added sugar intake. The daily recommended added sugar intake is 6 tsp for women and 9 tsp for men.
4. Calorie Count is Bigger
I don’t have any eyesight problems, but I sometimes have trouble finding the calorie count, especially on Nutrition Facts labels in landscape orientation! With the new change, the calorie count font will be bold and bigger.
5. “Calories From Fat” Gets Scrapped
The calorie count on the existing label is confusing. That’s because, for some reason, it shows two sets of calories: total calories and calories from fat. With the new label changes, “calories from fat” will be removed. I support this, as some foods that are naturally higher in fat may appear unhealthy when they are listed separately. Removing this item will help consumers focus on the kinds of fat, not total fat.
Gloria Tsang is the author of 5 books and the founder of HealthCastle.com, the largest online nutrition network run by registered dietitians. Her work has appeared in major national publications, and she is a regularly featured nutrition expert for media outlets across the country. The Huffington Post named her one of its Top 20 Nutrition Experts on Twitter. Gloria’s articles have appeared on various media such as Reuters, NBC & ABC affiliates, The Chicago Sun-Times, Reader’s Digest Canada, iVillage and USA Today.