“The New Nutrition Facts Label: What’s in it for You?” education campaign developed by FDA, aims to raise awareness and increase use of the updated Nutrition Facts label.
Consumers, health care professionals, and educators will all benefit from this information and educational tools included in this campaign. Food labels can be confusing. This latest label, updated for the first time in 20 years, includes important changes worth exploring.
These changes by the FDA are based on advances in our understanding of nutrition and scientific research.
There are four major updates to the label around serving size, calories, % of the daily value, and the nutrients of the food.
Now in a larger, bolder font, the serving size is more noticeable. These adjustments mirror measurements we use when cooking. For example, a cup or tablespoon.
Serving sizes are based on the amount we typically consume in a day, rather than a recommendation of how much you should consume.
The new label may also contain multiple serving sizes if there are different foods packaged together.
The calories are also more obvious with a larger, eye-catching font.
Calorie intake should be based on the serving size food container. If the calories listed are 530, with two servings per container, eating the entire box would mean you are ingesting 1060 calories.
Each person’s daily recommended calorie intake is different, use My Plate to determine yours.
Daily Values are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume or not to exceed each day.https://www.fda.gov/food/new-nutrition-facts-label/daily-value-new-nutrition-and-supplement-facts-labels
These daily value percentages are anchored on new nutritional research and some of the daily %s have changed. For example, total fat values have increased from 65g to 75gs per day.
Certain nutrients do not have a daily value, such as protein, sugars, and trans fats. When looking at labels, check the grams for each of these so you aren’t consuming too much in a day.
Nutrient daily values are a balancing act. We don’t necessarily need to give up our favorite foods, but rather be mindful of how the foods we eat impact our overall daily % nutrient value.
A few nutrients have been omitted in the new labels.
Research indicates that calories from fat aren’t as important as the types of fat we consume. Additionally, we don’t see deficiencies of Vitamins A & C as often anymore.
New nutrients added are:
Since added sugars increase overall calories, but do not have an impact on % of DV, it is important to label these additives. Vitamin D and potassium as added because research shows many people in the United States are not getting the recommended daily value and may be deficient in each.
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Both Diana Isaacs, PharmD, BCPS, BC-ADM, BCACP, CDCES, and Dana Armstrong, RD, CDCES are noted leaders in the field of diabetes.
Dr. Isaacs was named 2020 AADE Diabetes Educator of the Year for her educational platform promoting the use of CGM for people with diabetes and other innovations. She is the CGM Program Coordinator and clinical pharmacist specialist in the Cleveland Clinic Diabetes Center.
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