What’s New on the Nutrition Facts Label
The changes to the nutrition facts label come from years of research on how American’s actually eat, along with how diet impacts health. Using the sample label above, let’s walk through the 6 main changes and why they are so helpful.
Why? This means less math for you! It will be easier for you to see how many nutrients you are getting in a package. This is particularly helpful when estimating the calories or sugar content in beverages like soda which we usually drink all at once. In the past, serving sizes were often listed as 2-3 in a bottle, which meant you had to double or triple the numbers. TIP: You still need to pay attention to the serving size to know exactly how much you are eating or drinking.
Why? This is so that you won’t miss them. The calories we take in through our diet directly impact our weight. Knowledge is power! Knowing how many calories you are getting is an essential tool in fighting weight gain and assisting in weight loss.
Why? Research has shown that the type of fat is more important than the amount. So, the focus is now on lowering saturated or trans fat to assist with heart health.
Why? We’ve talked about how sneaky sugar is. It seems to be lurking everywhere. In order to get the nutrients you need, it is best to stick to less than 10 percent of calories from added sugar. The new added sugar information will help you follow that guideline.
Why? Vitamin D is vital for strong bones, and potassium plays a role in healthy blood pressure. Many Americans do not get enough of these nutrients. By featuring them on the label it will be easier for us to get enough. Luckily, most people get plenty of Vitamins A & C, so they no longer need to be featured.
Why? The Daily Values for nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber, and Vitamin D changed based on the latest science. In addition, the wording on the DV footnote is a little easier to understand.
The 5/20 Rule for Daily Values
No Nutrition Label Needed
You can also find the nutrients of almost any food in the USDA's FoodData Central online database.