On May 20, 2016, the FDA announced the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect new scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The new label will make it easier for consumers to make better informed food choices.
For those who struggle to decipher what all the numbers and percentages on a nutrition label mean, you’ll feel better knowing that by July 26, 2018 these food labels will be easier for you to track your nutrition. The Nutrition Facts label has been used for over 20 years to help consumers understand more about the food they nourish their bodies with.
Here are some of the changes to be on the lookout for:
- Calories and servings will appear larger and bolder
- Serving size changes:
- Dual columns will show “per serving” and “per package” nutrition information
- Servings will be better based on what people actually eat (ice cream serving will change from 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup)
- Added sugars will be included to show how much sugar has been added to a product (want 10% or less of our total calories to be from these)
- Daily values for sodium, Vitamin D, and fiber will change
- Nutrients of concern such as potassium and Vitamin D will include the actual gram amount, while other nutrients that people are rarely deficient in such as Vitamin A and C will no longer be required on the label
- Consumers will no longer see “Calories from Fat” so the attention can be focused on the type of fat (limit unhealthy fats such as saturated fat and trans fat)
- Updated footnote to better explain what the “percent daily value” means
- Ingredient list—reminder that the ingredients are listed by quantity, from highest to lowest
In general, when you read Nutrition Facts Labels, you should be looking for foods that are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals and low in sugar, sodium, cholesterol, and fats (especially saturated fat and trans fat).