Friday, March 10, 2017

March is National Nutrition Month

Learn More about the New Nutrition Fact Label

While combing the grocery store aisles for healthy selections, I notice more and more shoppers are deliberately reading labels before making their food purchases.

Remember when polyester clothing was popular? Polyester is a synthetic polymer made of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) or dimethyl ester dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) and monoethylene glycol (MEG). It is actually a form of plastic, and DuPont Corporation bought the rights to manufacture it in the U.S. in the 1950s. It spurred on generations of families who began to read clothing labels more conscientiously because they wanted more natural fabrics.

Nutrition Fact Label reading, as it turns out, has followed the same path. For individuals who like natural, whole foods rather than highly processed ingredients, it’s important to know what to look for and where the hidden messages may be. Here are some tips that I recently learned from our partners at Eastern Michigan University’s Dietetics & Human Nutrition Programs, (thank you to Sandra Pernecky, MS, RDN, Co- Director):
  • Begin with the Serving Size and Total Calories so that you know how to compare with other product labels;
  • When looking at sugar on the label, aim for 10% or less of your calories from added sugars;
  • Below is the look of the "new food label" that larger manufacturers will start using in July 2018. The new label reflects updated information from nutrition science-based evidence.  It's interesting to see the changes based on where American diets are lacking ~ vitamin D and potassium are now required, and vitamin C and vitamin A have been removed (as we seem to be doing well enough in our intake of these nutrients).

You can find important nutrition information this month on the SkyWell Bulletin Board,
messages brought to you by Project Healthy Schools.

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