The new and improved Nutrition Facts Label is on numerous packaged foods and beverages to make it easier for you and I to make healthier food choices. By January 1, 2021, the updated nutrition facts label will be on every food and beverage product in the United States. Before I tell you what’s new about the label I want to explain what it is.
The Nutrition Facts Label has been on food and beverage packages since 1992. The label is typically on the side or on the back of packages. You may have noticed the label but ignored it because who has time to read what’s on a package? Or maybe you have looked at it but it didn’t make sense to you. In this blog post, I will explain how to read the updated Nutrition Facts Label so YOU can become a savvy consumer and choose nutritious foods for you and your family.
NUTRITION FACTS LABEL
Original Label New Label
Compare the two labels. What changes do you see?
- Larger print size in bold type for serving size and calories
- Added sugars on the label
- No vitamin A or C
- Vitamin D and Potassium added
- % Daily Value information presented differently
- New footnote
These changes are based on new scientific information to help consumers make decisions about food.
Here are the reasons why I think the new label is easier to use:
- The calories and serving size are in larger and bolder type. I can actually read how many calories are in a food or beverage product without squinting.
- The serving size is now based on what people actually eat. Not what they should eat. That’s reality folks.
- Added sugars are listed. Americans consume too much sugar. Aim for less than 10% of your total daily calories from added sugars.
Nutrients to get less of:
- Saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and added sugars. Foods higher in these nutrients can increase the risk of high blood pressure and/or cardiovascular disease. (Note: trans fat has no % daily value, so us the number of grams as a guide)
Nutrients to get more of:
- Dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium. Many people do not get enough of these vitamins and minerals, and eating foods high in these nutrients can decrease the risk of chronic illnesses such as high blood pressures, anemia, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. Aim for 100% daily value of these nutrients most of the time.
For more information about the updated Nutrition Facts Label visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.