What The New Nutrition Label Means For You

nutrition

In July of 2018 ( *Sigh* I know, I wish it was sooner as well!) new nutrition labels will start appearing on food items in the U.S. But what do these labels mean for you and your family? Today, the nice people over at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition will give us all the details about this huge win for the consumers.

What The New Nutrition Fact Labels Mean For You

by Integrative Nutrition:

For the first time in over 20 years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved changes to nutrition fact labels. Under the new regulations announced May 20, food manufacturers are required to disclose the amount of added sugar in their products and adjust suggested serving sizes to reflect how much is realistically consumed.

This change is coming at a time when waistbands in the United States are continuing to expand—a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 30% of Americans 20 and older are obese, a significant jump from 19% percent in 1997.

At Integrative Nutrition, we understand that maintaining a healthy weight can be difficult, especially when many of the calories we consume are coming from hidden added sugars—about 13% for the average American, according to the FDA.

In fact, several of our Visiting Teachers have spoken up about the sugar epidemic, including Drs. Mark Hyman and Robert Lustig. Dr. Hyman suggests that sugar is a “recreational drug” and the trillion-dollar industrial food system is the biggest drug dealer around and Dr. Lustig has started the “war on sugar,” spending years researching sugar addiction in populations around the world.

Added sugar—disguised as “agave,” “sucrose,” “cane juice,” and “lactose” to name a few (check out this New York Times article for a full list)—is in more products that the average consumer may realize. Many yogurts, tomato sauces, and even salad dressings contain some form of additional sweetener. In fact, a recent study by researchers at the University of North Carolina found that 68 percent of all packaged foods and beverages contained added sugar.

This update to nutrition fact labels will aim to help increase consumer awareness of the quantity of added sugars in foods, according to the FDA.

Additionally, portion sizes will also be adjusted to reflect the amount of a product actually consumed. For instance, a serving of ice cream will grow from 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup (because how many of us truly eat 1/2 cup of ice cream?!). Twelve- and 20-ounce bottles of soft drinks will each be listed as one serving, instead of two, because most people realistically drink the entire bottle in one sitting.

The increased serving size will prevent companies from deceiving customers who believe they are consuming fewer calories and grams of sugar than are actually in the entire product.

The new labels will take effect in July of 2018 for major manufacturers. Those who generate less than $10 million in food sales will have an additional year to comply.

What are your thoughts about the FDA’s updates to nutrition fact labels? Share in the comments below!

This article was originally published on Integrative Nutrition.

“Fed Up” Review

This is the first year that more people will die from obesity than starvation, and it doesn’t have to be this way. I just watched “Fed Up” last night, and if you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

This is a must see for anyone who eats food.

You don’t have to be a health nut to be aware of what is going on in the food industry. In fact, those who are not aware of what they are eating need to see this film the most. 

The film follows around three obese children, and weaves their story in between interviews with leading health experts such as Michael Pollan, David Wolfe, and Dr. Hyman.

The film is a bittersweet pill to swallow, but often times it’s the unpleasant message that needs to be heard the most.

Good quotes and info from “Fed Up”:

“In 1980 there were zero cases of Adolescent Type 2 Diabetes. In 2010 there were over 51,000.”

“You can eat a bowl of cornflakes with no added sugar, or a bowl of sugar with no added cornflakes. They might taste different, but below the neckline they are exactly the same.”

What about you? Are you fed up? What will you do to make a change?

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Vermont Expected to Be First State to Mandate GMO Labeling

Consumers in the U.S. want to know what is in their food. It’s that simple. According to an article posted this week in the Los Angeles Times, Vermont might be the first state to mandate labeling of genetically modified foods (GMOs).

As stated in the article, “under a law signed this month, the tiny New England state, population 626,000, will soon require that food companies tell consumers which products on grocers’ shelves have genetically modified ingredients. In doing so, Vermont could force food growers, processors and retailers to upend how they serve hundreds of millions of customers nationwide.”.

The biggest argument up to date for the opposing side, is that foods made from genetically modified crops are no riskier than non-GMO foods.

“But backers of GMO labeling argue that the issue shouldn’t be about safety, but rather about a consumer’s right to know. Orange juice from concentrate is safe, they note, yet the FDA requires it to be labeled. The U.S. is one of the few developed nations that does not mandate labels for genetically modified foods”.

I agree. The issue is not about safety or whether or not scientific studies have proven that GMOs are unsafe or not. The issue is about the consumer’s right to know.

It’s saddening that the U.S. is one of the few developed nations that doesn’t mandate labels for GMOs. Americans live in a country that continues to serve the corporations, and not the people. And if it wasn’t always evident, then it was made plain as day after Obama signed the Monsanto Protection Act in 2013.

Americans deserve to know what they are buying, and we shouldn’t settle for less.

 What can you do to help?

  1. Write a letter to your State Representative (click HERE for a list by state) urging them to support labeling of genetically engineered foods. You can also sign this online petition.
  2. BUYING POWER. Refuse to buy GMOs, and support organic farming. And please support you local farmer’s market when possible.
  3. Start your own garden! How To Start an Organic Garden in 10 Steps

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