While at a vitamin store the other day, a new protein bar caught my eye. All my weight loss surgery patients know I am always on the lookout for tasty and easy ways to get your daily dose of protein, so of course I picked up the bar to check it out. What was the first thing I did after picking it up? I looked at the nutrition facts, of course. What I saw next was NOT what I was expecting to see. Instead of the old nutrition facts, I was pleased to see the redesigned label on the back of this product. I’ve been talking about this new label and how much easier it will be to understand since the Food and Drug Administration announced the redesign in May of 2016, and I was not disappointed.
Whenever I look at nutrition facts, I always look at sugars first. Sugars are found naturally in certain foods, like fruit and dairy, but it’s the added sugars that I was on the hunt for. The current food label does not discern between added and naturally occurring sugars, making it tricky to figure out if there is added sugar in a food. The new label made added sugars easy to find.
Besides being able to easily see the added sugars, I also noticed that the serving size and calories on the new label were so large and bold that you couldn’t miss them.
You can see the other changes in the graphic at the right. Don’t expect to see the new food label right away on all food products. Manufacturers have until July 26, 2018, to make the switch and those with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an additional year to comply. But the new labels are slowly turning up on packages so keep turning those boxes and bags around and let us know in the comments here if you find any too. In the end, I put the new protein bar back on the shelf, deciding it was not a good choice for my patients or for me. I’ll continue to keep an eye out for great protein bar choices and you keep an eye out for the new label!