The Food and Drug Administration released the guidelines for the new Nutrition Facts Panel today, or as it’s affectionately called by health professionals, the NFP. The Nutrition Facts Panel may be a few decades old but it hasn’t changed much since it was introduced in 1993. It has become an essential tool for people to figure out how nutritional value of the food they eat. There are some pretty awesome changes you’ll start to see on food labels over the next few years. The new NFP will:
- Really highlight for you the calories and serving size of the food
- The serving sizes will now better reflect how much a typical person actually eats of food (and that has definitely changed over the years!). You can expect that 1/4 cup serving of ice cream to likely be updated.
- Added sugars will now appear on the label, listing both how many grams are in the food and the percent daily value (%DV). This was a hotly anticipated line item since added sugars also were called out in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- You may see ‘dual columns’ of values – a ‘per serving’ nutrition content and ‘per package’ for some foods. This way you know how much you are eating in one sitting or if you spread it out over multiple meals/snacks.
- The daily value for vitamin D, sodium, and dietary fiber was updated.
- Vitamin D will be making it’s official debut on the NFP as it and potassium will be required to be listed in grams and percent daily value (%DV). Calcium and iron will still be listed as well.
- Vitamin A and vitamin C have been moved from required to optional (voluntary) status.
- The percent of calories from fat will be removed since it’s widely agreed that it matters more the type of fat vs amount. Total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat will all still be listed.
It can be tough trying to figure out what and which values on the Nutrition Facts Panel you should care about. At ShopWell, we’ve created a way to help you out. We know not everyone should be eating 2000 calories/day, so you can personalize the NFP. This way the percent daily values are based on how many calories you should be eating in a day instead of the standard 2000 calories. We call out the added sugars in products and calculate the percent daily value too! We’ll also point out what nutrients on the label you should be paying attention to based on your health goals.
At ShopWell, we’re here to help you shop smarter and discover better foods just for you every time you shop!