There was big news in the food industry, when the FDA updated the “Nutrition Facts” label for the first time since the 1990’s.
Most food companies must use the new format by July 26, 2018, while those under $10 million in yearly food sales have an extended compliance date of July 2019.
As someone who has twice gone low carb, with the “slow carb” and keto diets, and experienced positive results both times, I have some thoughts on the changes.
Sugar is the current elephant in the room when it comes to obesity in the United States and elsewhere.
Many consider it a toxin. Others feel it’s addictive, not unlike nicotine from tobacco.
Food companies fight against these label changes because they know that they may lose money or market share as a result of people knowing how much added sugar they use.
It’s a positive step forward to list added sugar but there are still issues.
If I’m to believe the example label given, they estimate your daily value of added sugars to be 50g. That wouldn’t count naturally occurring sugars.
You’ll also notice the “Total Sugars” line has no daily value percentage. That’s because there is no consensus as to what the daily value of sugar should be, although I’d argue not over 50 grams like the label portrays.
That, in itself, is misinforming the public as to the damage of excessive sugar consumption.
By following the keto diet, I’ve become a lot less worried about fat as long as it’s from a quality source.
Sugars are what I focus on when reading the label or ingredient list of a food.
And if I’m eating carbs, which I try to limit to under 50 grams total per day, I want a lot of those carbs to be fiber. This will lessen the immediate impact of simple carbs to your blood glucose levels.
Calories & Serving Size
As you can see, these are emphasized in the new design with larger font and bold text.
This should make it easier to understand at a glance. And they have updated the serving sizes to make them “more realistic” for several items such as ice cream.
Once again, added sugar is really the culprit here, because it adds empty calories that often trigger hunger instead of squashing it.
If you are eating high sugar foods, then even if you are hitting your daily calorie goals, your diet is still nutritionally deficient. And that can lead to health problems other than being overweight.
I want to highlight what I found noteworthy within the FDA’s release.
It is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie requirements if you consume more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugars. On average, Americans get about 13 percent of their total calories from added sugars, with the major sources being sugar-sweetened beverages, and snacks and sweets.
This was my struggle, 100%. Step one was cutting out soda, which is simply terrible for you. Step two was eating better foods. Step three was cutting out sweets (the hardest part for me).
“Calories from Fat” is being removed because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount.
Plus one for the ketogenic diet!
Package size affects what people eat. So for packages that are between one and two servings, such as a 20 ounce soda or a 15-ounce can of soup, the calories and other nutrients will be required to be labeled as one serving because people typically consume it in one sitting.
This is definitely true. It’s also been studied that you eat less if you throw out your dishes and buy smaller ones. Us humans are not great at willpower. Sometimes we need to rig the game for many small wins to overcome our own ignorance.
As time goes on, I think we’re going to realize fat was never the enemy and sugar is much worse for our bodies than we previously thought.
But as long as money is at stake, don’t think for a second these large food manufacturers won’t lie to you and disregard your health.
Start understanding how to treat your body the right way, whether you follow keto, paleo, vegan or nothing at all.
Read the full release here: