Naturalistology

2018 Nutrition Label Update

In July 2018 large food manufacturers/distributors were required to update the Nutrition Facts Label on their packaged food products. Seems it was 1993 since the last look. So the status quo is long overdue for a change.

The new label is supposed to make it easier for people to choose better with food choices. The updated changes apply to the information on the Nutrition Facts Label on packaged food products.

Credit: FDA

Reading the Label

Most of the information contained in the label is the same. But the layout has been adjusted to bring more attention to key areas of interest.

Previous Label
New Label

Credit: FDA

A Closer Look: What's Actually Different?

Credit: FDA

You might notice that Vitamins A and C have been removed from the bottom section because the FDA believes that these deficiencies are rare today.

Vitamin D and Potassium have now been added because the FDA indicates that the population doesn’t get enough of these.

The actual nutrient values (noted next to nutrient) are also declared now in addition to the %Daily Value (%DV).

What does the new label tell me?

One of the challenges most people struggle with is how to read and interpret the information being presented on the label. If the label is broken down into sections, things might be a little easier to understand.

A Closer Look: Servings

Servings per container shows the total number of servings in the entire food package or container.

Serving size is based on the amount of food that is customarily eaten at one time. The nutrition information listed on the Nutrition Facts label is usually
based on one serving of the food; however, some containers may also have information displayed per package.

A Closer Look: Calories

Calories refers to the total number of calories, or “energy,” supplied from all sources (fat, carbohydrate, protein, and alcohol) in one serving of the food.

A Closer Look: Nutritional Daily Values

Nutritional Daily Values refers to the total nutritional amounts in one serving of the food. Most of the sources listed here should be limited, as too many of them are actually bad for your health.

A Closer Look: List of Nutrients

The List of Nutrients is updated too. Vitamin D and potassium will be required on the label. Calcium and iron will continue to be required. Vitamins A and C are no longer required, but can be included on a voluntary basis.

A Closer Look: Footnote

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The Footnote has changed to better explain what percent Daily Value means. It reads:  “The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.” Pretty basic. You know your daily calorie goals, so adjust as necessary.

Know Your Power

With these label changes you are supposed to be able to take a more knowledgeable approach to packaged foods. Easily spot key nutritional details at a glance and speed up your grocery trips. Note: While most manufacturers have already made the change, you may still see some of the older packaging in stores.