For individuals or families hoping to adopt a healthier lifestyle, one of the most helpful resources is the FDA’s Nutrition Facts Label found on every packaged good. With the information included in the label, everyone is better suited to make healthy decisions when walking through the aisles of their local supermarket. Maybe you’re trying to reduce your calorie count, or maybe you’re not getting enough daily vitamin intake with your current diet. Whatever the case might be, the Nutrition Facts Label can make these changes all the easier. However, as some shoppers may have already realized, there were some changes made to the label recently. The changes aren’t too hard to follow, but this post will detail all of them for those who may have been unsure. 

Adjustments to Serving Sizes 

Maintaining a proper balance of portions is critical in establishing a balanced diet. Prior to the changes made to this section of the label, the text that displayed the serving sizes was much too small. In addition to this, the serving sizes were predicated on data from long ago and didn’t accurately represent the way most people had been consuming products. The changes made recently have both increased the size of the text on the serving size section of the label and adjusted the suggested serving sizes based on new data centered around what constitutes a healthy daily diet. 

Calorie Totals

Perhaps the most looked to section of the label, however it wasn’t adequately displayed to make a significant difference. The changes made recently have significantly increased the size type that this section of the label contains to make the calorie total the most prominent information on the label. This change was imperative, as a healthy diet is almost entirely predicated on total calories consumed throughout the day. Making sure these values were perfectly represented should make it much easier for those tracking calories to never go overboard. 

Daily Value Considerations

This bit of information, while often overlooked, is actually a great indicator of whether or not you’re receiving adequate amounts of vitamins and nutrients from your current diet. Prior to the changes made last year, it was a bit harder to track all of the vitamins and nutrients. However, the FDA has decided to include even more vitamins and nutrients into these daily percentage value trackers for consumers particularly interested in their diets. Avoiding foods high in sodium has never been easier for example. 

Nutrient Listings

As mentioned previously, this section of the label has received the most changes as of last year. Not only has the amount of information available to the FDA increased, but so has the amount of Americans concerned about their dietary habits. Some of the information once thought to be important regarding an individual’s health is no longer included. Calories from fat, for example, has been removed and replaced with saturated and unsaturated fat trackers in the label. Vitamins A and C have been removed as well, as more vitamins typically under consumed by Americans have been added; vitamins D and potassium for example.

Another major change comes in the form of the inclusion of added sugars. These are the sugars added after the production process in order to properly maintain a product throughout its shelf life, but they are far from healthy. Avoiding too much of these added sugars is an excellent way to maintain a healthy diet. With all of this additional information, shoppers are that much more capable of making informed decisions during their time at the grocery store. Better choices made in regards to food can lead to a healthier lifestyle.

Author: John Hinchey

John Hinchey is VP of Sales for Westfalia Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of logistics solutions for plants, warehouses, and distribution centers. He has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing and warehouse automation.