BIG Nutrition: New Designations on Food Packages


BIG Nutrition: New Designations on Food Packages

The front of food packages are gaining new stamps or designations to help guide individuals as they select foods at the grocery store. A recent Washington Post article described the new designations.

Good Housekeeping ‘Nutritionist Approved’

 A registered dietitian, working at Good Housekeeping, has created a certification program to review and label foods that comply with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The products must:

  • Make healthier food choices and habits easier for consumers,
  • Contain fewer ingredients and additives than comparable products,
  • Avoid misleading product claims, and/or
  • Improve sustainability.

50%+ Whole Grain

Many products have a mix of whole and refined grains, and the regular packaging information does not reveal the proportions. A new stamp highlights when a food has at least 50% whole grains. An existing stamp (shown here), 100% whole grains, is definitely a better, more nutrient-dense choice.

Certified Transitional

 Demand for Organic foods is continuing to increase, yet < 1% of farmland is dedicated to organic crops. Further, it takes ~3 years for a farm to make the transition and only at the end of the process can it label foods as 100% organic. So, a new designation will be seen on packages this year: Certified Transitional. This effort was started by the Kashi Company in collaboration with Quality Assurance International (QAI) to recognize and support farmers’ efforts to switch from regular to organic farm practices. There is no assurance, however, that the farm will ultimately transition to organic, so be aware that you are purchasing conventional and not organic products.

Happy and healthful eating,

Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN

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