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.

Why MSG Is Toxic And How You Can Avoid It

Monosodium_glutamate_crystals Monosodium Glutamate. Most likely when you hear the word you probably think Chinese food, right? But ladies and gentlemen, MSG is found everywhere, including many items you find on the shelves of your neighborhood grocery store. MSG is found in many canned foods, soups, and processed meats. Companies throw MSG in to enhance their flavor, but at what cost?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies MSG as generally safe, although people sensitive to MSG suffer from extreme adverse reactions (me being one of them) such as migraines, heart palpitations, body aches, mental confusion, and even mood swings. If I get dosed with MSG, I get a migraine that lasts for days, so I am very cautious about avoiding the stuff.

These days, however, it’s getting more difficult to avoid being poisoned, because MSG hides in more than 40 other FDA-approved ingredients! It seems food companies are aware of the bad rap MSG gets, and instead of getting rid of it, they have gotten extremely sneaky with the food labels. What’s aggravating and extremely dishonest is the fact that if the company doesn’t add the ingredient called “monosodium glutamate” they are still allowed to claim “No MSG Added” on their label.

Disgusting, right?

So for those people like me who get blinding migraines and flu-like symptoms from MSG, we are left with no protection from the FDA. Instead, we are forced to put on our detective hats every time we purchase something at the food store.

Here are some of the names MSG is known by, so you can recognize it on food labels when next shopping:

  • Glutamic acid
  • Monopotassium Glutamate
  • Glutamate
  • Yeast Extract
  • Autolyzed Yeast
  • Yeast Food
  • Yeast Nutrient
  • Hydrolyzed Protein
  • Soy Protein Isolate
  • Soy Protein Concentrate
  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • Autolyzed Plant Protein
  • Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
  • Textured Protein

But hold up, Health Coach Jenna. I’m not sensitive or allergic to MSG. Why should I bother cutting it out?

The effects of MSG are accumulative. So just because you don’t experience any adverse side effects now, doesn’t mean you won’t later. According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, in his book Exitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, sensitivity to MSG builds up in our bodies until we reach what he called our “threshold of sensitivity”. MSG intake causes brain damage, leads to nervous disorders, and causes rapid hormone fluctuations. In a scientific study, scientists found that mice injected with MSG become rapidly obese, inactive, and have other hormonal issues (2). More importantly, if you are pregnant or nursing, you should be even more cautious about MSG intake, because infants and children are four times more sensitive to MSG than adults (1).

The main points I hope you take away from this article:

1. Just because the label says “MSG Free” doesn’t mean it is.

2. MSG is damaging to your health, and even more so to infants and children.

3. The other names for MSG. You can find a downloadable list of all the MSG- containing ingredients at Food Renegade. Just click HERE and scroll down to the orange box at the bottom of the page.

And remember folks, if you stick to real, whole foods, it’s much easier to avoid these toxic chemicals! Also, remember the basic guideline of five ingredients or less. And chances are, if you can’t pronounce the ingredient, it probably isn’t the best thing for you.

Proud to be MSG Free,

Health Coach Jenna HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked   Sources:

1). BLAYLOCK, RUSSELL L. EXCITOTOXINS: THE TASTE THAT KILLS. SANTA FE, NM: HEALTH, 1998. PRINT.

2. LORDEN, J.F., AND A. CLAUDE. “BEHAVIORAL AND ENDOCRINOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF SINGLE INJECTIONS OF MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE IN THE MOUSE”. NEUROBEHAVIORAL TOXICOLOGY AND TERATOLOGY 8.5 (1986): 509-19. PRINT.