Watch Out for That Sugar. The FDA Has Made It Easier.

Earlier this year the FDA made some changes to the the Nutrition Facts labels found on food.  These changes include an updated look, updated information about the nutritional breakdown of the foods, and updated serving sizes and labeling requirements for certain package sizes.  You can read more in detail about all of these changes here.  In this article I’m going to focus on the new sugar labeling because it’s my fav.

This picture shows the older label format on the left and the new label format on the right.  Notice the highlighted sugar information under total carbohydrates.  Labels will now show not only the amount of total sugars, but the amount of added sugar, in the foods as well, along with the percent daily value that total amount of sugar is for a 2,000 calorie per day diet.  

So in this label we see that the food contains 12 grams of sugar total, 10 of which are added sugar.  Not so great.  These 12 grams of sugar would amount to 20% of the total sugar the FDA recommends consuming on a 2,000 daily caloric intake.  They also recommend that sugar not exceed 10% of your total calories.  Confusing as hell, yes?

It’s easy to get caught up in the math (or avoid it like a plague as I do), but the great thing about this change is that it puts added sugars in the spotlight.  This, combined with reading your ingredient label, which is even more important in my opinion, will tell you just what kind of sugar you’re putting in your body, even if it’s got an obscure, tricky name when it’s listed as an ingredient.

Manufacturers were required to use the new label by July 26th, however manufacturers who make less than $10 million in annual food sales have an additional year to comply.  Now, until then, and forever I suggest you consume as little sugar as possible.  Your body and your mind will thank you.