ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Are you a label reader? Most of us at least glance at the labels on the back of the box for a calorie count or serving size.
But did you know, this year the nutrition labels underwent a makeover? And did you know because of the pandemic, those new labeling rules were loosened?
Serving size, calories, cholesterol. Food labels are confusing! And this year, they’re changing again. “I feel like a business should want to only provide the best for their consumers and that doesn't include just the product, that includes the information and the transparency behind their product,” said Kait Richardson, a Registered Dietician Nutritionist.
On the new labels, calories and serving sizes are larger. The amount of added sugar during the processing of the food will be separate from sugars derived naturally. For the first time, potassium will be on labels.
Several studies say this mineral is missing from a lot of Americans diets. But because of confusion during the coronavirus, the FDA granted temporary labeling flexibility due to difficulties in sourcing ingredients.
Manufacturers can now make minor formulation revisions without changing the label. “So, it's extremely dangerous and it's a lot of work for that individual or that family to make sure that what they’re giving their child or themselves is safe,” said Richardson. The new guideline is slated to stay in effect until the pandemic ends.
A good rule of thumb for food allergy sufferers is to stick with brands you’re familiar with, look for labels that say, “gluten-free” and if you’re unsure about it, contact the manufacturer directly.