For the first time in 20 years the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new major food labeling overhaul. Food labeling and what ingredients are disclosed on labels have been a controversial topic in the United States. For Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Diabetic patients in particular, proper food labeling has been a very important issue as foods with hidden trans fat, potassium, and sugar can raise a patient's risk of harmful side effects. Issues include spiking blood sugar, blood pressure and increasing chances of heart failure.
The Nutrition Facts Panel found that more than half of Americans use labels placed on foods regularly to decipher what is in the food that they are buying and ultimately consuming. The idea is that consumers can walk into a grocery store, select an item off of the shelf and be able to tell whether it is good for them and their diet.
"Half a dozen" food labeling changes are expected, but some directly impact people with CKD and Diabetes more than others. One of the most controversial alterations has to do with the difference between sugar that is present naturally and corn syrup or other added substances in food. The current label includes the amount of sugar in the product because "Food industry groups have said that natural sugar and added sugar are chemically identical and that the body doesn’t differentiate between the two, so it makes little sense to break them out in this manner on labels."
Nonetheless, health advocates and now many regulators hold that sugar which is added to products are nutritionally void and should be noted on the label in an "added sugars" line. Such a change may assist Diabetics in controlling sugar intake and better managing blood sugar. Also, reduced sugar and calorie intake by those with CKD will decrease their risk of diabetes, and increase the likelihood of a Kidney Transplant being successful.
Package information will also be changed to reflect the amount of potassium and vitamin D in foods. This is important news for people with CKD on Hemodialysis who typically have to limit their potassium intake. Moreover, vitamin D is a mineral that CKD patients, especially those on dialysis, are deficient in so these added values will go a long way in assisting CKD patients.
Recommended Reading: Too much potassium (hyperkalemia) is dangerous for CKD Patients' Heart Health
Another significant change includes serving sizes which will be made easier to understand, and better reflect the amount people actually eat. As an example, the serving size for ice cream, currently half a cup, would become one full cup because that is what the typical person actually consumes.
These changes should significantly improve the quality of life and health outcomes for people with CKD and Diabetes. Visit KidneyBuzz.com every day so that you do not miss the Breaking News we report. Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter. If you found this article informative, we would appreciate you sharing it with others.
Cha, Ariana Eunjung. "Nutrition Labels to Get First Makeover in 20 Years with New Emphasis on Calories, Sugar." Http://www.washingtonpost.com/. The Washington Post.
"Nutrition Fact Label Changes Proposed by FDA." Http://www.cbsnews.com/. CBS News.
"Issues in Food Labeling | Nutrition Label Standards in US, UK and India."Http://www.biotecharticles.com/. Biotecharticles Inc.