The new Health Canada guidelines will now require food labels to increase their serving sizes to better reflect the typical amount Canadians eat in one serving (based on regulated reference amounts). This will make the nutritional information more realistic to better reflect the average Canadian diet. Additionally, for items sold in single serving packages, the listed serving size will be the amount for the entire container.
As mentioned above, the new guidelines will include not only the amount of sugar in food items, but also what that equals for individuals %DV. However, the new guidelines are also requiring sugar-based ingredients be grouped together to help consumers identify the various sources of sugars that are added to a food.
This includes foods such as crackers that have historically had food labels based on the number of pieces. With the revised guidelines, foods such as these will not only be based on the number of pieces or fraction of the food but will also include the weight. This update will allow consumers to more easily compare similar foods providing a common measurement among products.
New food labeling guidelines: What’s changed?
3. Changes made to the listed nutrients
With the new guidelines, potassium will be included on nutrition labels. Potassium is critical for individuals to maintain healthy blood pressure. Also, many Canadians are not getting enough potassium from their current diet. Vitamin A and C will be removed from the nutrient list as most Canadians are getting more than enough of them in their diets. Lastly, foods that are common allergens will be clearly labeled at the bottom of the ingredient list.
The percent daily values (%DV) will be revised based on updated science. The new guidelines will also mandate items having a %DV for sugars which has not existed on food products before. Now, not only will you see the amount of sugar in food items, but also the proportion contributing to your daily intake of calories. Furthermore, a footnote will be added to the bottom of the table to simplify for consumers, explaining that 5% or less is considered “a little” while 15% or more is considered “a lot”.