The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently unveiled a new look to the nutrition facts label on packaged foods to help consumers make more informed decisions.
- Calories, serving size, and servings per container are more visible.
- Serving sizes must more closely reflect the amounts of food that people currently eat or consume in one sitting.
- Amount of added sugar must be listed on the label.
- There are “natural” sugars for foods and added sugar. This change allows consumers to make more informed choices on the sugar that is being add to their foods. For the bariatric patient it is most important to look at the total carbohydrate level (goal is < 60 grams per day). If the food is high in fiber or low in NET carbs (total carbs – fiber) and low in added sugar, this may make it a healthier carbohydrate choice but it still contributes to the recommended carbohydrate intake for the day.
- “Dual column” labels to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutrition information to increase awareness of consumer intakes.
- Declaration of Vitamin D and potassium are added as these are common nutrient deficiencies in the U.S. Iron and calcium will continue to be included but vitamin A and C are no longer required.
- “Calories from Fat” will be removed because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount. “Total Fat,” “Saturated Fat,” and “Trans Fat” will continue to be required.
- DV (daily value) % must be based on a 2000 calorie diet, so this may not be as helpful for surgery patients as knowing what your individual goals are.
General post-bariatric daily guidelines are > 60-80 grams of protein, < 60 grams of carbohydrate, moderate fat intake ~20-25 grams per day. If you have questions about the new label or your individual needs, request an appointment with our dietitian, Heidi Jensen RD, by calling 210-651-0303. We are here to help!