/ by Sean O'Nan, MS, RD, LD
Written by Sean O'Nan, a registered dietitian at UK Markey Cancer Center.
You might have noticed that the nutrition labels on your foods and drinks look different than before. In May 2016, the FDA announced it will be changing the labels to help make it easier for consumers like you to make informed, healthy decisions about their diet.
Here's what you should know about the changes:
- The first thing you may notice is the larger font size for the “Serving size” and “Calories” sections of the label. In some cases, serving sizes may be changing as well to better reflect how much people are actually eating rather than what is recommended. By understanding the accurate serving sizes of your foods and drinks, you can better track your daily nutrition and stay on course with your health goals.
- Sections about saturated and trans fats have been included to teach consumers about the types of fats included in particular items. It's helpful to understand what kind of fats you are consuming because increased consumption of saturated and trans fats has been shown to increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.
- The “Added sugars” section has been introduced to show which foods may be high in natural sugars and which have had sugar added during processing.
- The FDA has adjusted the percent Daily Value (% DV) of particular vitamins and minerals to better reflect new dietary recommendations based on research from the Institute of Medicine.
These changes could impact patients with a variety of health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The goal of these changes is to make nutrition information about your foods easier to understand so that you can make an informed decision about your diet. If you have questions about your specific nutritional needs, please reach out to a registered dietitian who can determine an appropriate health plan to meet your needs.
The image below shows some of the new changes reflected in the new nutrition label. Be on the lookout for it the next time you visit the grocery store!
For additional information regarding diet and nutrition for cancer patients at Markey Cancer Center, please call 859-323-2798 and ask to speak with a registered dietitian.