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Understanding sugar labels

  • Category: Nutrition, Wellness
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Rachel Wilde, PBT, CPT, MA
Understanding sugar labels

In May 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put into place new regulations to make food nutrition labels more user friendly, with information consumers can use to make better informed choices when they purchase and eat packaged foods. These new guidelines for labels are now being seen on products available in most grocery stores, with larger food manufacturers being required to make updates to their food labels by January 1, 2020.

The look of new labels will remain very similar as they have been, but now will include improvements such as making serving sizes and calories more clear. Some vitamins and minerals are now listed by actual amounts and there is a clarification explaining Daily Values.

One of the best changes to nutrition labels includes a section for added sugars in grams and as a percent of the daily value. This information is especially useful as new research suggests we consume less than 10 percent of our daily calorie intake from added sugars.

Added sugars are different than sugars that naturally occur in the foods we eat. They are made into the foods that we often eat to add flavor, and are sometimes even used as preservatives. Foods that we often perceive as healthy (like yogurt, granola and even protein bars) can be sneaky sources of added sugar in our diets—reading a food label can be eye-opening to say the least!

Below is an example of the old nutrition labels, vs the new nutrition labels, provided by the FDA. You can use these examples to help you read the labels of the foods you regularly eat and be a better informed consumer!

FDA nutrition Label sugar Wellness

Sources

  • FDA: Original vs New Label (side-by-side comparison)
  • FDA: How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label
  • FDA: Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label

Have Questions?

Campbell County Health's Wellness works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. To learn more about Wellness, please visit www.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307-688-8051.

Rachel Wilde, PBT, CPT, MA, works at CCH Wellness as a Technician and Phlebotomist