The New Nutrition Facts Label
In May 2016 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new changes to the nutrition facts label. You may have already started noticing a difference on some of your packages and will continue to see it as everyone makes the switch over the next few years. So what does this mean for you? Let’s check out the changes.
Changes to the nutrition facts label
The first change you will see is close to the very top of the label and is important for people with diabetes and everyone else interested in reading the nutrition facts label. The serving size tells you how much of that product provides the rest of the information you will see below. Take a box of Organic Triscuit Crackers®. Their serving size is 6 crackers. So if you eat more or less of that serving size, you will be getting more or less of the nutrition listed. It has also been bolded to make it easier to spot.
Another very important change to the nutrition fact label, and an important part of the label is the calories line. You will find this right below the serving size. It has been bolded as well as put in larger print so it is hard to miss. This shows how many calories are in the serving listed above. For the Organic Triscuit Crackers® a serving size of 6 crackers has 120 calories.
The next thing you will notice is that below the total carbohydrate line, you will see dietary fiber and total sugars as usual, but with an addition of the grams of added sugars. Current recommendations suggest no more than 10% of total daily calories should be from added sugars. In the Organic Triscuit Crackers® label, there are zero grams of added sugars.
Vitamins and minerals
You may also notice that there are different vitamins and minerals listed at the bottom and providing their percent daily value. There are also a few missing such as vitamin C as it was found that a vitamin C deficiency is less likely than it once was.
What should I be looking for on a nutrition facts label?
If you have not been taught how to read a nutrition facts label by your physician, a Registered Dietitian (RD), or Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), be sure that you ask your physician to schedule that. It is important that people with diabetes know how to calculate their carbohydrate intake to help better control their blood glucose levels.
To check the carbohydrate amount in a food you are eating, look at the serving size and then the total carbohydrates. For example, a serving size of 6 Organic Triscuit Crackers ® provides 20 grams of total carbohydrate. If you plan to eat 12 crackers, it would be 40 grams of carbohydrates, or only 3 crackers would provide 10 grams of carbohydrates. Knowing how to adjust your serving size and calculate the changes is helpful when meal planning so that you can be sure not to overdo it on the carbohydrates at a meal and end up with an undesired blood glucose level in a few hours. Happy label reading!
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