Let’s face it – food labels in this country have been great, but not the best.

Imagine you’re in an aisle in the grocery store, hoping to purchase some crackers. Since you’re a health-conscious kind of person, you begin comparing two different brands of crackers, taking a look at the nutrition facts table on the side of each box. Here’s what you find:

The serving size for each box of crackers is different! How will you be able to compare the nutritional content of each brand of cracker without pulling out a calculator and doing some math in the snack aisle?

This is where new changes from the Government of Canada come into play. Now, instead of worrying about making sense of the serving size numbers on nutrition facts tables, each box (no matter what brand) should have a similar value to make things easier for you. Take a look:

This time, the serving sizes are similar! You can now compare the nutritional values in the facts table efficiently, and this will help you make the more health-conscious choice.

The Ingredients List: What Does It Really Mean?

Picture this: it’s shortly after lunch, and you’ve just has a really tasty cookie. It was so good, in fact, that you’ve fished the wrapper out of your pocket to try and figure out what made it taste so great. Here’s what you find:

That’s great information, but it seems like three of those items on the list (fancy molasses, brown sugar, and sugar) are all the same thing – sugar! Ingredients lists here in Canada are listed from the most prevalent item (the one with the highest mass, i.e. wheat flour in this case) to the least (colour), so when you group together the items that are really all the same (i.e. all the sugars) and specify what “colour” actually is you end up with this:

See how the order of the ingredients has changed? Suddenly, this cookie appears to be mostly sugar. Yikes! These new legislative changes to the way ingredients are listed shows you exactly what you’re really eating, and that helps you make a more informed choice.

Remember, information is one of the most powerful tools you can have when trying to make healthier food choices, so try paying attention to the ingredients list of the next food item you buy. You might just be surprised by what you find!

Monday, November 13, 2017 in
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