Will New Food Labels Make You Healthier?

The food industry made a big announcement yesterday. They are going to revamp the way you look at your food by making additions to the nutritional label.

Posted on | Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD | Comments ()

The food industry made a big announcement yesterday. They are going to revamp the way you look at your food by making additions to the nutritional label. 

The nutritional facts label and ingredients will all stay the same on the back but the front may take on a new look in the next few months. In addition to all the front-of-package claims on food, we’ll now have specific icons showing calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar. There could also be attention given to specific vitamins such as C and D as well as iron, calcium and protein.

One thing that will not change will be the actual food and perhaps that is where we should focus our attention. The new labels will essentially give you all the same information you would have seen already on the back; it will simply be packed in a different way. I’ve always suggested that starting with the back ingredient label and ignoring the front is the way to go. 

Take note, Dr. Oz viewers; while the new labels you’ll soon see lining your grocery store aisles may make unhealthy food appear healthy, you cannot be fooled. By following the old rules that Dr. Oz has always suggested, you’ll ensure that you provide your family with the best foods possible while getting the ultimate nutritional bang for the buck.

If saturated fats or added sugars appear in the first 5 ingredients, put the product down. Additionally, if the product has any partially hydrogenated oils or is not 100% whole grain, it’s also best to walk away.

The best information you can get from the box of food you pick up has been, and will always be that powerful list of ingredients.  Everything else is meant to distract you!

Blog written by Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD
Kristin Kirkpatrick is a registered dietitian and Wellness Manager for Cleveland Clinic’s Lifestyle 180 program. Kristin has...