The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has updated the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods and beverages with a fresh design that will make it easier for you to make informed food choices that contribute to lifelong healthy eating habits. Explore it today!
When You’ll See It
Manufacturers will need to use the new label by July 26, 2018, and small businesses will have an additional year to comply. During this transition time, you will see the current or the new label on products.
Size Up Servings
WHAT’S NEW: Servings per container and serving size are now in larger and/or bolder type. Serving sizes have also been updated to be more realistic to reflect what people actually eat and drink today. Additionally, there are new requirements for certain size packages, such as those that are between one and two servings or are larger than a single serving but could be consumed in one or multiple sittings.
Serving size is based on the amount of food that is customarily eaten at one time. The nutrition information listed on the Nutrition Facts label is usually based on one serving of the food; however, some containers may also have information displayed per package.
- When comparing calories and nutrients in different foods, check the serving size in order to make an accurate comparison.
Servings per container shows the total number of servings in the entire food package or container.
- One package of food may contain more than one serving. Some containers may also have a dual column label, which shows the amount of calories and nutrients in one serving and the entire package.
Consider the Calories
WHAT’S NEW: Calories are now in larger and bolder type and Calories from Fat has been removed because research shows the type of fat consumed is more important than the amount.
Calories refers to the total number of calories, or “energy,” supplied from all sources (fat, carbohydrate, protein, and alcohol) in one serving of the food.
- To achieve or maintain a healthy weight, balance the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice. However, your calorie needs may be higher or lower and vary according to age, gender, height, weight, and physical activity level. Check your calorie needs at Choose My Plate.
To learn more about the new Nutrition Facts label, visit Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label.
Use % Daily Value as a Guide
WHAT’S NEW: The Daily Values for nutrients have been updated based on new scientific evidence. The Daily Values are amounts of nutrients to consume or not to exceed each day and are used to calculate the % Daily Value. Some of the Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie daily diet.
% Daily Value (%DV) shows how much a nutrient in one serving of the food contributes to a total daily diet. Use the %DV to determine if a serving of the food is high or low in an individual nutrient and to compare food products (check to make sure the serving size is the same).
As a general rule: 5% DV or less of a nutrient per serving is low and 20% DV or more of a nutrient per serving is high.
Choose Nutrients Wisely
WHAT’S NEW: The nutrients that are required or permitted on the label have been updated. Added Sugars is now required on the label — aim for less than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugars. Vitamin D and potassium are also required on the label because Americans do not always get the recommended amounts. Vitamins A and C are no longer required since deficiencies of these vitamins are rare today.
Use the label to choose products that are lower in nutrients you want to get less of and higher in nutrients you want to get more of.
- Nutrients to get less of: saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and added sugars. Diets higher in these nutrients can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure and/or cardiovascular disease. Get less than 100% DV of these each day. (Note: trans fat has no %DV, so use the amount of grams as a guide)
- Nutrients to get more of: dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium. Most Americans do not get the recommended amount of these nutrients, and diets higher in these nutrients can decrease the risk of developing diseases, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and anemia. Get 100% DV of these on most days.
Check out the Ingredient List
Ingredients: Bulgur Wheat, Sauce (Water, Half and Half [Milk, Cream], Parmesan Cheese [Pasteurized Skim Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Cheddar Cheese [Pasteurized Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Olive Oil, Spice, Butter, Sugar, Xanthan Gum), Lentils, Corn, Green Beans, Red Beans, Potatoes. Contains: Wheat, Milk
The Ingredient List shows each ingredient in a food by its common or usual name in descending order by weight. So, the ingredient with the greatest contribution to the product weight is listed first, and the ingredient contributing the least by weight is listed last. The ingredient list is usually located near the name of the food’s manufacturer and often below the Nutrition Facts label.