If Approved, The New Food Label Would Be A Step In The Right Direction.

How many of us take the time to look at and read the nutritional labels that are on the back of the food products we buy?  If we are eating a whole foods based diet then our contact with nutritional labels are null to none. However, if we are eating a diet with packaged and processed foods then all of the food, and drinks, we consume will have ingredient/nutritional labels. The Food and Drug Administration is proposing a change to these food labels with a bigger emphasis on total calories, sugar, and certain vitamins. For some items it seems that this change might then list the calories for the entire item rather than for just a serving. For example, a 20oz bottle of pop would list the total calories rather than for just 8oz, or what is considered to be usually “1 serving size” instead.

Total calories from fat is something that will be leaving while new items, such as how much sugar added (versus naturally occurring) will be showing up. This is very important. From the CNN article: “The American Heart Association recommends you limit added sugar to no more than half your daily discretionary calories. That means for American men, about 150 calories a day, or nine teaspoons. For women it's a smaller amount -- no more than 100 calories per day from added sugar, or about six teaspoons of sugar.” This amount of sugar floors me because even with these guidelines a person’s immune system would be compromised all day long.

Other additions would be the amount of certain vitamins and minerals. Some of these are already on there, but they would be more prominent - sodium, fiber, vitamin D, potassium along with calcium and iron for example.

I think these changes, if they are approved, will be important from a calorie tracking standpoint, but I am not sure they are going to be enough. If they are approved then manufacturing companies will have 2 years to implement the changes.

We, as consumers, need to be more conscious of what we are eating, and putting into our bodies as well as on our bodies. It starts with taking time to cook real food at home so that we can control what is in that food, and how much sugar and salt we are giving to our families. I hope these food nutrition label changes happen, and that we, again as consumers, become more educated about foods and our diets.