The nutrition facts label on the products you buy every day has been in the process of an overhaul. In response to the increasing dietary restrictions on food today, certain parts of the information shown on the label will be taken out while others will be added.
Many have noticed in the past couple of decades that certain foods have grown more popular. As a result, there are now gluten free sections in major retail food chains. Though it’s been proven that less than one percent of the population actually has a severe allergy to gluten, it’s become a staple in more diets. Some even believe that a gluten free diet helps alleviate the symptoms of autism, though it hasn’t been entirely proven.
It is true that eating healthier tends to make you feel better in general. More sugar might give you energy, but it also might give you more difficulty in thinking clearly. Processed foods tend to be heavy in sugar and preservatives, the latter of which may be contributing to cancer.
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The expansion of the sugar content information on the nutrition facts label is one of the more noticeable changes. It not only tells you how much sugar is in the package, but also reveals added sugars, a major concern for health-conscious consumers. Sugar companies don’t like this, because it might cut into their profits as more people steer away from labels with higher numbers.
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Another major and much more obvious change to nutrition facts labels is that the calories in a package are now printed in larger, bold font. This helps with diet-conscious consumers who are attempting to shed the pounds in a world where obesity is becoming a worse problem.
It is unknown whether major fast food chains will be printing the same labels on their foods, as different kinds of burgers often end up in the same wrapper, just marked or folded differently depending on the contents. Many such chains have announced a plan to make their food contents healthier as a way of compromising.
A change we’ve already seen in recent years included the reduction in size for fountain drink cups. This was also due to concerns over sugar content. Even some such beverages have sugar alternatives in their diet versions, which have been proven to be even more harmful for diabetics. Aspartame has even been said to increase the likelihood of cancer.
One way to ensure better health for you and your family is not just to pay more attention to nutrition facts labeling, but also cook more on the stove or in the oven. Home cooked meals tend to be generally healthier than processed or fast foods, and often taste better if you know how to prepare them.
In addition to the added sugar information on nutrition facts labels is the dismissal of an entire section at the bottom, as well as clear information on potassium and Vitamin D. Gone are the total amounts listed at the bottom, in favor of a more percentage-based label. Many of the items in the totals were redundant, considering what was stated higher up.
Major food manufacturers will be given until July 2018 to comply with the changes, while others whose annual sales gross is less than $10 million will be given until 2019. While many consumers might still ignore the nutrition facts label, the ones who don’t will be given more of the information they want and possibly change their shopping habits accordingly.
Will this be enough to curb unhealthy diets and lead to a reduction in obesity?
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