What’s on the label?

Any time someone tells me they are starting a diet or working on weight loss, my first question tends to be “What are you eating?” What can seem a simple question can take a hard turn when we do not know what is in our food choices. Nutrition facts or food labels were designed to make food choices a little easier by providing a guideline for healthy eating. But when our guidelines look like a complicated math equation, it can become overwhelming.

As of January 2018, our food labels received a makeover to make healthy choices legible and more convenient. The U.S Food and Drug Administration has designed the new labels with their consumers (YOU) in mind. Here are the changes below :

  1. Serving Size: The servings per container and amount per serving have become bold in appearance to distinguish the intended amount of product reflected in the nutrition facts listed. Commonly misinformed, consumers would ingest a packaged item that was multiple servings under the impression they were eating only the calories listed on the package.
  2. Calories: Just like the serving size, listed calories now stands alone and is more pronounced to inform consumers of amount per serving. Other changes note calories per container if package may be an item that multiple servings are consumed in one setting.
  3. Fats: The different types of fats is highlighted in the new labels. The previous listing of calories from fat was removed, seeing that the type of fat was more important than its calorie content.
  4. Added Sugars: Most drastic change to the label, added sugars accounts for “sugars added during processing of foods..” It is important to note naturally occurring sugars are separated by this feature to show natural sugars can still effect carbohydrate intake, and therefore blood sugars. Another common misunderstanding or diabetic concerned patients, in counting carbohydrates, sugar content is included in the total carbohydrates, thus it is unnecessary to count sugars if you are already counting total carbohydrates.

For full description of the FDA’s label updates, check out their website here
https://www.fda.gov/media/99331/download

Want to learn how to navigate a food label in person? Join us at our monthly group meeting this Wednesday June 26th at 5:30.

Missed the date? No worries, call our office to schedule a meal planning appointment with our Nutritionists and have a personal discussion on food labels.

Cheers to Health & Happiness,

Becca, NDTR Nutritionist #Perseverance #HLPC