Understanding Food Nutrition Labels

Healthy living begins with make the right choices at your go-to supermarket.  The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently taken a major step in helping consumers make informed decisions by redesigning the food nutrition facts label and requiring all manufacturers to comply by 2019, at the latest.

The information on the new food nutrition facts label is consistent with current data on the associations between nutrients and health-related conditions in the United States, with particular emphasis on calorie and sugar intake.

Comparing Labels:

While the minimalistic black-and-white look remains intact, the new food nutrition facts labels include measurements that are calculated differently and categories that are stressed more than others. This amendment marks a milestone for nutrition advocates who have strongly promoted improved and healthier diets, as one of its goals is to fight obesity in the United States. 

Serving Sizes – The calibration of serving sizes will be more realistic in reflecting how much people actually purchase and consume, instead of what companies agree to be reasonable or what people should be eating.

Calories – The total calories count will be printed in a bolded and enlarged font, as opposed to the same type size as other nutrition information. “Calories from Fat” will also be deleted, as research has suggested the importance of the type of fat rather than the amount.

Added sugars – The new label will consist of the grams of added sugar and the percentage daily value (%DV) of those sugars make up. It is worth noting that consuming over 10% of calories from added sugars may hinder the other required nutrients within the daily diet of the 2,000 calorie limit.

Vitamins – There will be clear numbers of not only the percent daily values (%DV), but also the exact gram amounts of how much the product contributes. An emphasis is placed on Vitamin D and potassium, because deficiencies of such nutrients are especially linked to higher risks of chronic diseases.