New food labels promote healthy lifestyle - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

New food labels promote healthy lifestyle

Amy McLeod Amy McLeod

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Your shopping experience could look at lot different, no matter where you shop. The Grocery Manufacturers Association is unveiling new nutritional labels to promote healthier eating.

It's a new solution for busy, health conscious shoppers.

"I don't have to just turn the box around and look at it," said shopper Missy Hendrick. "I can just see what's on the front and just grab it and go."

She is talking about new voluntary front-of package labeling.

"Consumers want to know health information. They're asking for it," said registered dietician and healthy living spokeswoman for Brookshire Brothers Amy McLeod.

"All you have to do is look at the front of the package to find the total calories, fiber, protein, fat and sugar, sodium and then there are some optional things that it will include such as vitamin A, C and iron. It's just going to be whatever that manufacturer chooses to promote," said McLeod.

The idea is helping parents like Chris Dove make smart decisions.

"There's a lot of sugar in this and I sure wouldn't give them no sugar and have them jumping off the wall," said Dove.

McLeod says there are some drawbacks to the new labels.

"What registered dieticians would try to focus on is just the overall nutritional value of a product and not singling out one particular food group such as sugar," said McLeod.

She says it's a push in the right direction but the problem is people don't know what these numbers mean for their daily diet. Like percentage values.

"What most consumers think is that this product has 8% sodium when really that's not what it is saying. It's saying that it has 8% of your daily recommended amount of sodium for the entire day based on a 2,000 calorie diet," said McLeod.

The Food and Drug Administration has yet to outline what's required.

Shoppers will be the ones determining whether or not the new labels are effective.

You should start seeing the new labels on food products in the next few months.

You can email McLeod at askamy@brookshirebrothers.com with your nutritional questions.

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