The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) new proposed food label has become a law, and companies have two years to implement the changes. Overall there are eight key changes to the label, but we only need to focus on a few today. Below are some of the changes we will focus on today, and hopefully you will walk away feeling more informed.
Calories. Calories are now more prominent; the goal is to make it easier for you to realize how many calories you are consuming. Generally, the recommendation is 2,000 calories per day. But depending on your exercise regime, height, weight, sex and age it can vary. Check out this calculator to find out how many calories you need per day. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating...
2. Added Sugar. I am excited about this feature. For the first time, the food label will identify total sugar and added sugars. Additionally, you will find the percent of total daily sugars. The recommendation for added sugar in your diet is fairly low, and now you can figure out how much you are consuming and hopefully, reduce the amount of sugar-rich foods in your diet.
3. Serving Size. Instead of having a “recommended” serving size on the package, the serving size will be more consistent with what most of us actually eat and drink. A great example is ice cream, it will no longer be a ½ cup, and instead the serving size will be 2/3 cup. Soda will also change from 8 ounces to 12 ounces.
The changes to the nutrition label will hopefully make it easier for you to have a better understanding of what you are consuming. And remember that there is a lot of marketing and buzz words used to influence your decisions. Keep the facts straight and ignore phrases like natural, local, and small batch. These terms may be beneficial when it comes to the environment and supporting our community, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are healthy options.