Sitting down to a meal without a calculator seems like a far off dream. Excited to see a real portion size on those nutritional labels? Tired of wondering who really eats 1/3 - 3/4 of a cup of cereal? Feeling like you must have a giant stomach if a serving size is 1 and you're not full until you're had 4 serving?
A portion of cheese is a pair of dice, actually one dice. A portion of nuts is 7 nuts, and we all know how fun it is to count out your nuts before sitting down with a glass of wine. Need to carry a deck of cards with you so you can measure that portion of protein you're allowed to eat. Love that you can have 4 shrimp in that portion size, when everyone knows you're going to eat the entire platter of shrimp.
*Apparently Michelle Obama feels the same. Michelle Obama, joined by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, announced the release of a proposed rule for revised nutrition labels on Thursday.
Consumers who want to eat better were often stumped by the complicated labels, Obama said.
“Unless you had a thesaurus, a microscope, a calculator or a degree in nutrition, you were out of luck,” she said. “So you felt defeated, and you just went back to buying the same stuff. As parents and as consumers, we have a right to understand what’s in the food we're feeding our families.”
Consumers, yes you and me, might finally be able to see what's really going on inside those products we're about to inhale. SUGAR - the biggest problem we have going in America will be in clearer site. How often have you picked up something edible because it screamed fat free, because those small two words gave you the impression the rest of it was good for you. So that fat free pudding neglected to state that you'll be eating 8 tablespoons of sugar. (exaggeration... maybe)
Advocates of this change say that people will no longer have to do a lot of math to understand how many calories they are consuming. Of the 157 food types that are covered, the Food and Drug Administration is proposing to change the serving size for 17 percent of them. For instance, the serving size for ice cream, now half a cup, would become one cup.
Other changes include adding “per package” information in addition to “per serving” information and substituting potassium and vitamin D on the labels for vitamins A and C. Research has shown that most Americans get enough vitamins A and C but are lacking in potassium and vitamin D.
In conclusion, any change to help keep the consumer informed is a plus. For those days when you simply don't care, don't read the label. However, with a label marked clearly with the worse ingredients glaring at you, it might be a tiny bit easier to make a better food choice.
Above all, food labels or not, we must be our own advocates. Figure out what food portions, food types and ingredients help make you feel the healthiest. Here's to an educated delicious meal.
There's a reason why Heart Disease is the number one killer of Americans. Lois Trader