Credit: Food and Drug Administration, HealthCentral
But let’s be very clear – most processed foods have too high levels of added sugars, which make the total sugars (even if it includes actual fruit-derived sugars) way too high. There is also a %DV or percent daily value of sugars, so that you understand how a serving of the food, with its level of added sugars, factors into your total daily added sugar amounts as recommended by nutrition experts.
Experts hope that in the case of soda or some other treat food, noting that the added sugars per serving equals 130 percent of thetotal day’s allowance may give consumers pause. Experts are hoping this is especially true for consumers concerned about weight issues or diabetes, or if they are parents trying to make better choices for their kids.
It’s important to note that ingredients such as fruit or vegetable juice, fruit juice concentrate, or the actual fruit component of jams, jellies, preserves, are NOT included as added sugars. Those ingredients are instead factored into the total sugar amount per serving. Some experts criticize that this will give food manufacturers the license to start adding large amounts of these types of ingredients to sweeten a food without adding to its added sugar tally. We shall see.
Cholesterol and total carbs
Calories from fat_,_ as a separate highlighted number, has now been removed from the Nutrition Facts label. Consumption of healthy fats such as monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and especially omega 3 fats is important. However, even healthy fats need clarification in terms of serving size and calorie amounts. Fats that will still be highlighted, “per portion,” will include trans fats and saturated fat, as well as the other healthier fats.
When it comes to calculating carbohydrate value for yourself, you can typically multiply the grams of added sugars by the number four (since 1 gram of sugar has four calories), and then subtract the posted grams of fiber.
Vitamins, sodium, fibeitamin D has been trending strongly in the nutrition and science communities as an essential vitamin that supports health. Updated daily values of sodium, dietary fiber, and vitamin D will be on the label. But specific declarations of amounts of vitamin D, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C will no longer be required. Sodium per serving is still clearly posted, as is total dietary fiber, though soluble and insoluble designations for fiber are no longer required.
So will it change your food choices?
It is recommended that consumers shift from highly processed foods (junk foods) to more real foods that are nutritious. It’s important to recognize that real foods and healthy foods can sometimes have higher calorie counts, such as nuts or avocados. If you choose to eat nuts, you still need to control portion size and you should choose the less processed version. Those nuances require additional education and contemplation, something that the Nutrition Facts label doesn’t offer.
Groups that were in favor of these new changes included the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). This significant update was 20 years in the making. The hope is that you will no longer need detective work to assess a food product’s nutrient profile**.** Embrace the mantra to** focus on foods that mostly don’t need intricate food labels.** That food list includes: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean unprocessed proteins, healthy oils, nuts, seeds and legumes, simple dairy products and water. According to a recent study, poor nutrition accounts for more deaths and disability than any other single cause. The new labels must post on foods by July 26, 2018.
See more helpful articles:
Carbohydrates Can Be Bad and Good for You
Is My Destiny Obesity if My Parents Are Overweight? Yes and No
Amy Hendel, also known as The HealthGal, is a Physician Assistant, nutritionist and fitness expert. As a health media personality, she's been reporting and blogging on lifestyle issues and health news for over 20 years. Author of The 4 Habits of Healthy Families, her website offers daily health reports, links to her blogs, and a library of lifestyle video segments.