Over the last week or so, you may have heard about the update our Nutrition Facts Panel will be receiving. Can you believe that our current label is 20 years old?! The changes to our label reflect new scientific findings and will help consumers when choosing healthy food options.
Here’s a quick guide to the refreshed Nutrition Facts Panel:
1. Start with the Serving Size
Serving sizes must now be based on the amounts that people are actually eating, not what they should be eating. Always compare your portion to the serving size listed. Is it bigger? Smaller? If the serving size is one cup and you eat two, then you’ll get double of what’s listed on the label.
2. Check Out the Total Calories
This number is huge now! Can’t miss it. Whether you count calories or not, it’s always a good idea to be aware of how much energy your food is giving you.
3. Daily Values are Your Guide
The Percent Daily Value is based on 2,000 calories per day. You may eat more or less than that, but it’s a good general guide. If a nutrient has 5% or less % DV, then that’s considered low. If its 20% or higher, that’s considered high.
So if you have a healthy nutrient you want enough of, like Fiber, do you want that closer to 5% or 20%? Right, 20%!
If you have a nutrient you want to limit, like Saturated Fat, Sodium, or Added Sugar, do you want that closer to 5% or 20%? Exactly. 5%!
4. Additions to the Panel
Take a look under sugar on the new label, what do you see? Added sugar! We’ll now be able to track exactly how much added sugar we’re consuming. The recommendation is less than 10% of your total calories should come from added sugar. So for someone on a 2,000 calorie diet, that would be 50 grams or less. But overall less is best!
Vitamin D and Potassium are now required to be on our new label. These are nutrients that Americans don’t always get enough of.
The changes to our Nutrition Fact Panel will start to roll out soon and by July 2018, major manufactures will be required to use this format. So pay closer attention to the foods you’re buying. Can you spot any new labels?