Sep 02, 2014

Nutritional Panel

The Canadian government is overhauling our nutritional panel and ingredients guidelines, and they’d like you’re input! The nutritional panel is the little boxes stating the caloric, macro-nutrient, and micro-nutrients contained in packaged foods and the % Daily Value that they represent.  There have been several proposed changes and we have until September 11, 2014 to make our voices heard.

Here are several key changes proposed:

  1. Serving Sizes would represent the actual amounts of food that an average Canadian consumes. So instead of seeing 50 grams of dried pasta, you would see 1 cup cooked pasta as the serving size.  Or instead of 2 crackers, you would see 10 crackers which is a more realistic representation of the amount a person would consume in one sitting.
  2. There are a number of changes proposed to the nutritional facts panel including: updating the % Daily Value of sodium based on the latest research, adding Vitamin D and Potassium to the list of micronutrients called out with a % DV as these are commonly deficient nutrients in Canadians, and removing Vitamin A and C because Canadians are typically consuming enough of these in their diet and deficiency is uncommon.
  3. The ingredients list is also getting an overhaul to make it easier to read. For example the ingredients will no longer be all capital letters which makes it difficult to read, and items will be separated by bullets points instead of commas.

The biggest changes proposed relate to sugar:

  1. Currently, if a product contains multiple types of sugar, they appear in the ingredient list in order of how much of that type of sugar is in the product. The proposed change would see the individual sugars lumped together under ‘sugar’ then the types of sugars in parentheses afterward. Ex. Sugar (molasses, glucose-fructose, honey).  This is a positive change because lumped together this may bring the sugars closer to the top of the ingredient list and you’ll be able to see that all the sugars combined are a larger amount of the total ingredients.
  2.  In the nutrition panel, it is proposed that sugars be called out as ‘added sugar’ if they are not naturally occurring.
  3. And a % DV (daily value) is proposed for the maximum daily amount of sugar a person should consume.  They are proposing 100g, or 20% of our diets. They are not specifying what percentage should come from natural sources such as fruit, vegetable and grains, or from added sugars such as in pop and fruit juice.  The World Health Organization specifies that no more than 10% of our diets should be derived from added sugars.

Here is the link where you can make your voice heard today! :
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiquet/consultation/index-eng.php

Sources:
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiquet/consultation/index-eng.php
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiquet/sugars-sucres-fs-fr-eng.php
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiquet/nutrition-facts-valeur-nutritive-fs-fr-eng.php
www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2011003/article/11540-eng.htm

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