The new Federal Drug Administration food labeling rules are a big win for the consumer. According to their May 20, 2016, announcement, the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods will “reflect new scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease.” In essence, you will be able to make better informed decisions about what you eat in order to be and stay healthy.
The highlight of the new rules is that big business, especially The Sugar Association, lost their fight to keep the “added sugar” content off of the label. Instead, all labels will now specify what percentage of the total sugar content has been added by the manufacturer. A lot of food has naturally occurring sugar, so this new label will help the consumer see how much extra they would be getting. We can thank the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization, Michelle Obama, and others for their recommendation to decrease the intake of added sugar. This recommendation is based on lots of research that indicates added sugars raise the risks for obesity and other chronic conditions.
Mindful eating helps you to be aware of those extra sugars by attending to your taste buds. Train yourself to pay careful attention when you eat and you will be more aware of extra sugar and other chemicals. Over time you will notice that your taste buds are great detectives. For me, I will take the food with no added sugar on top. Thanks!
Other highlights of the new rules include updating the serving sizes so that they more accurately reflect how people eat, putting servings in larger, bolder type, listing the calories in larger type, updating the daily values that you need based on newer scientific evidence, eliminating the calories from fat but leaving in the type of fat that is in the product, adding nutrients such as Vitamin D and potassium to the label along with calcium and iron but letting Vitamins A and C be included on a voluntary basis.
Things move slow on these types of changes, but I am elated that we are moving in a direction that helps instead of tricks people. Large manufacturers will need to use the new label by July 26, 2018, so it will still be a while before you see these labels come into effect. Click on this link to see get more information on the FDA website. And see the labels below for a comparison of the old (on the left) and the new (on the right).