What You Need To Know About the FDA’s New Food Labels

FDA-new-food-labels
Some people have expressed worry that a larger serving size will encourage consumers to eat more, but it's worth remembering that the serving size is not a recommended one!

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set out some new labels that will be appearing on foods by 2018. Here’s what they’re all about.

Clearing Up the Calories

The new food labels will emphasise how many calories are in one serving of the food you’re buying. Even how calories are mentioned on the product packaging will change: the calories will be written larger than other nutritional information.

Although this is good to show people exactly how many calories they are consuming, it could also be misleading. Calories are not always directly linked to how healthy a food is. You might find that some foods are higher in calories than others but contain more nutritional value.

Getting Real About Added Sugars

Foods will have to be crystal clear about any added sugars that are included in them. They will be written as grams and mentioned under ‘Total Sugars’ so that consumers will see exactly what they’re getting. This will help people make the healthiest choices and avoid eating too much sugar. Remember, as a woman you’re only supposed to have 25 grams (six teaspoons) of sugar a day!

Foods will have to be crystal clear about any added sugars that are included in them

Changes to Serving Size

Serving sizes on products will change to provide a more accurate picture of how much of the ingredients consumers are eating. For instance, instead of giving nutritional information for a half a cup of ice cream, almost a full cup will be mentioned on the tub which makes it easier to understand the nutritional facts based on serving size. As stated by the FDA, this is important because how much people eat has changed. Some people have expressed worry that a larger serving size will encourage consumers to eat more, but it’s worth remembering that the serving size is not a recommended one!

Vitamin D and Potassium Get the Spotlight

Deficiencies in Vitamin D and potassium are on the increase so the FDA has ensured that these nutrients be clearly noted on foods containing them. However, Vitamins A and C won’t be required to be stated on products because people tend to get a lot of them in their diets. Nutrients will also be listed as mg instead of percentages, which makes them easier to track.

Getting the Facts on Fat

Food labels currently show how many calories you’re getting from fat, but the new labels will have to show the product’s total fat and also include different types of fat, such as saturated fat, that are in the product. This is important so that you know what kinds of fat – the good or bad – you’re consuming.

Image credit: USDAgov via Foter.com / CC BY

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