Changes to Nutrition Label Can Help You Lose Weight

March 10, 2014

Changes to Nutrition Label It’s been more than 20 years since the nutrition label has been altered, but its long-running streak is coming to an end. The Food and Drug Administration is recommending changes to the nutrition label that will help you stick to your weight loss plan.

Focus on calories. Larger and bolded type will bring your focus to the number of calories in a product. You lose weight when you consume fewer calories than you burn, and you won’t be able to miss your calorie consumption on the new label.

You’ll know how many calories are in the entire package. Ever bought a container of trail mix, eaten the entire contents of the package, and then realized there were four servings per container, meaning you just consumed upwards of 800 calories? You won’t be able to make that mistake as frequently any longer. The FDA is proposing to update the serving size to represent how much we actually eat, so the calories seen on that seemingly single-serving container of trail mix will list the calories in the entire package. And larger-packaged food items will place more emphasis on how many servings in the container with larger and bolded type.

Vitamin D and potassium will be listed. Research shows vitamin D deficiency is associated with diabetes, certain kinds of cancer, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, joint pain, and obesity, and higher potassium intake is linked with a reduced risk of stroke and lower blood pressure. The new label will allow you to monitor if you’re getting enough of both nutrients in your diet. Beef up your vitamin D intake with low-fat milk and cheese, liver, egg yolks, and saltwater fish, and boost potassium intake with spinach, yogurt, avocados, and bananas.

Added sugars included on label. The current nutrition label lists natural sugars and added sugars together, but the new label would include a separate section for added sugars. According to the FDA, 16 percent of total daily calories come from added sugars for the average American. Not only is sugar addictive, but you will quickly pack on the pounds if you consume too much of it. Differentiating from natural sugars, like those found in fruit, and added sugars, like those hidden in fruit juices, can help you get to the root of your weight issues.

Ultimately, the proposed changes paint a more realistic picture of what you are putting in your body, which will help you avoid unwanted calories. Although the changes won’t be implemented for at least a few months, it’s a step in the right direction that will help bring you closer to your goal weight.

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