As you browse food choices in the grocery store, you will soon begin to see changes in the food label that are designed to make choosing healthy options an easier task. Here are a few key changes to help you avoid food label confusion. One of the biggest changes is in the serving sizes which will now reflect what people actually eat as opposed to what they should eat. For example, a can of soup is currently 2 servings but in the future the food label will reflect the whole can since people rarely consume just half a can. Calories will be in bold print and larger font to make it easier for people to find the information. Added sugars will be listed as a separate item to demonstrate if the sugar in the food is from natural sources such as milk and fruit or added during processing. You will also see information about the vitamin D and potassium content on the food label. These nutrients have been added because they are key nutrients that prevent chronic disease, but the average person is not consuming them in sufficient amounts.
All food companies must begin using the new label by 2018 but many will start the transition right away. Still have questions about how to interpret this information? Make an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians to help you translate the information. 919-515-2563
Information Provided By:
Ashley Pinet, RD, LDN, CDE
Student Health Services