Coming soon to a food package near you: a brand new Nutrition Facts label. Nutrition Diva spells out what she likes most about the proposed updates.
The familiar Nutrition Facts label is getting a much needed update. The current design is on the left and the proposed update is on the right.
New: Added Sugars
My favorite change is that the labels will now show added sugars on a separate line. When we talk about limiting sugar, it's not the naturally occuring sugars in milk or fruit that we're worried about. It's the concentrated sweeteners like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and honey,
No longer will you have to do complicated calculations to figure out how much of the sugar in your strawberry yogurt counts as "added sugar." It'll be listed separately on the label.
See also: Is Sugar Nutritionally Necessary?
Gone: Calories from Fat
They've also gotten rid of the "calories from fat" notification, which signals (I think) the beginning of the end of the demonization of fat. ”Current research shows that the total fat in the diet is less important than the type of fat," they now sheepishly admit. With the space that they've freed up at the top of the label, they're choosing to emphasize the calories per serving and the number of servings per container.
See also: What's the Optimal Balance of Fats?
Improved: Nutrients of Interest
The four seemingly arbitrary "nutrients of interest" at the bottom of the label have also been updated to better highlight those nutrients that are most likely to be deficient and are linked to chronic disease.
The inclusion of potassium on the label also makes it easier to keep an eye on your potassium/sodium balance, which research suggests matters more than your sodium intake.
What do You Think?:
Although we're still waiting for the "Final Rule" that will make these changes law, this is most likely the label we're going to get. What do you think of the changes? Will they make the label more useful to you? Share your opinions on Nutrition Diva's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NutritionDiva.
Images courtesy of the US Food and Drug Agency.