The New Food Label: What’s Changed and How to Use it to Your Advantage

May 31, 2016

By Saba Zahid, RD, LDN, Food and Nutrition Services/Unidine

In May, the Food and Drug Administration unveiled the new food label. At first glance, the new label doesn’t look very different from the old label. After a closer look, though, you will notice that there are some key changes in the new food label.

One of the most hotly contested changes is the specification of how many added sugars are in a product. This will be indicated under the “Total Sugars” listed on the label. This addition is consistent with the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, which encourages Americans to consume no more than 10% of total daily calories from added sugars.

Serving sizes of products are also being updated to accurately reflect what individuals are consuming as one serving. Daily Values are also being updated based on newer scientific data. Additionally, manufacturers must declare the actual amount, in addition to the % Daily Value, of vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium. Other changes include the removal of the “Calories from Fat” from the label. “Total Fat,” “Saturated Fat,” and “Trans fat” will continue to be on the label.  

For a visual breakdown of the new food label, please see the infographic. 

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