First Lady Michelle Obama announced last week that for the first time in several years the food label is getting a facelift, woohoo! The food label, also known as the Nutrition Facts Panel, is there to help you make more informed choices when choosing what food to buy and eat. Food manufacturers have the next two years to change up the labels on the food they make to follow the new guidelines. Here are the top three things to get excited about!
Oh hey there Added Sugars!
Added sugars are a hot topic right now but it’s pretty tough to tell how much added sugar is in your food. Until now. The new labels (you’ll be seeing them by 2018) will have the grams of added sugar called out. Soon you’ll get to see how much sugar (and salt and fat) is in your food. In case you aren’t sure how many grams of sugar is ok to eat, the label also includes a percent daily value. Just remember, less is more with added sugars!
Keeping it real with the Serving Size.
By law, the serving size on food labels represents what consumers typically eat of that food (Check out the infographic below). Hint – we typically eat a lot more than the serving size on the package! Here’s the rub, the labels are suppose to be a guide for helping us to decide what and how much to eat. Portion sizes and how much we eat has changed, let’s be honest increased really, over the past several years. So, although it’s helpful to see how many calories and nutrients we’re actually eating of a food, it also means we eat too much, period.
The sunshine vitamin makes its debut.
Vitamin D has been a trendy vitamin in recent years. Turns out most people have low levels or are deficient in vitamin D, especially the farther from the equator you live. Not a lot of foods are good sources of vitamin D although some foods have been fortified with vitamin D. If you’re worried about how much vitamin D you’re getting in your diet then you’re in luck. Now it’s required to be listed now on food labels. This way you can be sure you’re eating enough!
Curious about what else is new on the label? Check out our post on the new food label and how ShopWell can play Added Sugar detective for you.