One of the best skills you need to have in order to lose weight is something that you might not have ever considered before. Being able to correctly interpret the Nutrition Facts label is the first step in getting back on track! The average person doesn’t put too much thought into the labels on their foods, which is exactly what leads to over-eating,
Next year, you may notice something a little different about the food you’re purchasing. The FDA has released a redesigned Nutrition Facts label that will help Americans make better choices while purchasing food products. This change is a long time coming and is a huge step in the right direction toward accurate portrayal of what’s in our food!
So, what’s new about the label? Here are the four main different things you’ll notice about it in the upcoming year, from top to bottom:
- Serving sizes are getting a whole new look. Not only is the text size bigger and bolded, but they have also been recalculated to represent what the average person consumes of each product. For example, larger sized sodas such as 20 oz. bottles will now reflect a serving size of only one. In all honesty, this is because when most people purchase a 20 oz. soda, they drink the whole thing at once. That can be a little deceiving with the current Nutrition Facts label, which shows the bottle as two separate servings, leaving people to believe that they are only drinking the calorie count listed, when in fact they are consuming double the amount of calories. Yikes! The serving sizes will also be listed in common household measurements like cups and tablespoons rather than ounces.
- Next up: say goodbye to the Calories from Fat measurement on food labels. This is because it has been scientifically proven again and again that the type of fat consumed matters more than the overall amount of fat consumed. Removing the Calories from Fat portion of the food label helps eliminate the decade-old stigma that fat is evil and MAKES us fat, when in fact it can be the exact opposite. Fat consumption shouldn’t be so feared and restricted; eating healthy fats like those found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and oils should be encouraged!
- You’ll also notice something a little different about the sugar content of your food and beverages. Each food label will be required to not only provide the amount of sugar content within the food, but the “added sugar” content as well. This is so important because not all sugar is created the same! The naturally occurring sugar found in foods like fruit and honey digest differently in our bodies than man-made sugars that are added to products do. Consuming lots of added sugar has been linked to increased prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, and even dental issues. This change on the food label is excellent because it provides more transparency about what is actually in our foods to us as consumers.
- Last but not least, the vitamins and minerals section at the bottom of the Nutrition Facts label are being almost completely redesigned. Currently, most labels display vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron amounts found in each product. However, most Americans aren’t deficient in vitamins A or C. Because of this, the new food labels will display vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium, because these are nutrients that Americans are more often deficient in. Be sure to pay attention to the new nutrient values!
Overall, the changes on the Nutrition Facts label are awesome and are moving us in the right direction. But, don’t forget to pay attention to the changes, as they could affect your decision when it comes to purchasing or eating certain items. If you are comfortable with reading the labels, these changes shouldn’t make much of a difference for you. But if you’ve never paid much attention to them and are now beginning to eat more mindfully, be sure to watch out for these upcoming changes!