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What the New Nutrition Label Means for You

BY ANDREYA GROZIK

The previous nutrition label is more than 20 years old, and nutrition research is constantly evolving. Hammer Nutrition, however, takes a consistent stance. FDA’s decision to update nutrition labels is “based on updated scientific information, new nutrition and public health research, more recent dietary recommendations from expert groups, and input from the public.”

How is the label changing?

The new label will now be required to list added sugars, potassium, and vitamin D. Calcium and iron will continue to be required. Vitamins A and C will no longer be required to be listed on labels, as deficiencies of these two vitamins are now rare. Some of the other changes to the label include highlighting calories, servings per container, and the serving size; updating the information in the footnote to clarify the percent Daily Value; and requiring that the amount of the mandated vitamins and minerals is listed, not just the percent Daily Value.

What are “added sugars” exactly?

FDA defines added sugars as: “sugars that are either added during the processing of foods, or are packaged as such, and include sugars (free, mono- and disaccharides), sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices that are in excess of what would be expected from the same volume of 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice of the same type.”

Why are added sugars bad?

Added sugars have no nutritional benefits, add empty calories, and are consumed in far too great a quantity by the average American. FDA says:

The scientific evidence underlying the 2010 and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans support reducing caloric intake from added sugars; and expert groups such as the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization also recommend decreasing intake of added sugars.

In addition, it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie requirements if you consume more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugars. On average, Americans get about 13 percent of their total calories from added sugars, with the major sources being sugarsweetened beverages (including soft drinks, fruit drinks, coffee and tea, sport and energy drinks, and alcoholic beverages) and snacks and sweets (including grain-based desserts, dairy desserts, candies, sugars, jams, syrups, and sweet toppings).

No added sugars since Day 1

Manufacturers have until January 1, 2020-2021 to update their labels accordingly, but Hammer Nutrition is happy to do it now. Our customers can already see the changes in place on our labels. For over 30 years, Hammer Nutrition has stood firm on sugar’s detrimental effects to health. The updated label is recognition of the consequences of excess sugar.

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