Frozen food aisle with frozen foods in cases on each side of aisle with lights on to show products.

Nutrition facts are provided on packaged foods, but do you understand what you’re looking at when you read the label? Understanding what is in your food is important if you are following a diet or have any health concerns. In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated Nutrition Facts labels based on new scientific research. The updates will be a part of new labels to highlight categories that are believed to be links between diet and chronic diseases, such as obesity and heart disease. This change to the guidelines will make it easier for you to choose the right food for your diet. Let’s break down what you can find on the new labels.

What’s New?

On the new labels, “Servings per Container” and “Serving Size” will appear in larger, bold print, which will make it easier to understand how much you’re consuming. Some consumers may not have been aware that the nutritional facts on a box of crackers were only for a handful of crackers — not the entire box. Serving sizes have been updated to reflect what people actually eat and drink. For example, a two- to three-ounce bag of chips or a 20 ounce bottle of cola were previously labeled as 1-2 servings but are now listed as one serving. Packages containing 2-3 servings will show the Nutrition Facts per serving and per container in what is called dual column labeling.

Two Nutrition Fact labels side by side comparing old label to new label with changed highlighted.

Another change highlighted on the new labels is Fat. According to research, the type of fat is more important than the amount, which is why the “Calories from Fat” line is removed. Total Fat, Saturated Fat and Trans Fat are still required categories that will be included on the labels.

New Additions

Sugars are an important ingredient to check when looking at Nutrition Facts. The new labels will include Total Sugars and Added Sugars (in grams). Added Sugars are those not naturally occurring in food or drinks. Additionally, a percent daily value (%DV) for Added Sugars, based on a DV of 50g, is included on the new labels.

Potassium and vitamin D are also now required on labels as research shows many Americans are not getting enough of these nutrients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a lack of potassium and vitamin D can increase the risk of chronic disease. Since vitamin A and C deficiencies are rare, they are no longer required on labels.

Hopefully, the new Nutrition Facts make it easier for you to choose the foods that are right for you. Have a question about the new labels? Our Publix Dietitians are happy to help!

 

 

Allison L.

Written by

Allison began her journey with Publix in 2017 on the social media team. While serving customers online, she realized she found her forever home. Her love for helping others and passion for Publix culture drove her to become the Employment Branding Specialist where she assists recruiters with advertising job openings through traditional print, digital and social media advertising. When Allison isn’t sharing what she loves about Publix to job seekers, she is usually watching college football with a Pub Sub in hand or riding one of her three horses. Allison looks forward to helping others learn about the career opportunities at Publix.

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