1. The FDA’s proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts label.
This tidbit has been all over the news this past week. The FDA’s proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts label would be the first major modification since 2006 when the administration added trans fat. The changes reflect the latest research into diet and chronic disease and include highlighting the number of servings in a package, breaking out the added sugars from the total sugars, and adding vitamin D and potassium. See here for an example of what the proposed label would look like.
When I first read this announcement, I was thrilled. Having added sugars front and center? A dietitian’s dream! Considering Americans adults consume about 13 percent of total calories from added sugars (thirteen!), drawing attention to something that provides calories and not much else makes sense.
As for some of the other changes, I’m not sure how I feel. On the one hand, I appreciate that the proposed label’s serving sizes would more accurately reflect what people are eating and drinking (e.g. 20 oz. soda instead of 8 oz.). However, do we really want serving sizes on labels to balloon as they have in restaurants? What if 20 oz. of soda becomes the new (accepted) normal?
I am also unsure about the addition of potassium. As dietitians, we encourage consuming plenty of potassium through foods like fruits and vegetables. I wonder if emphasizing potassium on labels will encourage food manufacturers to supplement packaged foods with potassium, which would somewhat defeat the purpose of having the nutrient on the label in the first place. Unlike packaged foods, fruits and vegetables are not required to have nutrition labels. I worry that potassium will follow the path of fiber where isolated fibers are added to everything from meal bars to yogurt. I mean, I enjoy soluble corn fiber as much as the next person, but we’d be better off getting our fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
But, perhaps as a nutrition professional, I’m too alarmist. I’m interested to see what comes of this proposal.
2. Ugli fruit
I spied this unusual fruit during my latest grocery store tour and had to give it a try.
Ugli fruit is from Jamaica and is a hybrid of grapefruit and another citrus fruit. Pretty neat.
As for the taste? Well. Ugli fruit may be in season, but it’s not in season in our house. (That’s the worst joke of the week, I swear.)
3. Gracious, what have I got myself into?
A few weeks ago, I embarked on an ambitious knitting project for a special someone. What makes this project unique is that it’s entirely of my own design – a situation that yields a perfect blend of hey-that’s-awesome-and-I’m-awesome and CURSES (not actual curses, mind you; this website is family-friendly), particularly since I didn’t bother to chart it out before I began. No pictures yet, because I want it to be a surprise for the recipient.
I can show you one of the Christmas gifts I mentioned in this post (I apparently neglected to take pictures of the other gifts):
This is a shawlette I gave to Peter’s mom (yes, it’s the same piece that caused such heart palpitations in this post).
Peter’s sweater? It’ll be ready sometime around 2020.
4. Fresh snow is so beautiful …
For about five minutes, pre-road skating.
(Must be my inner fifth-rate enviro-Bierce talking.)
5. Maddie’s adoration of green beans and carrots has reached new heights.
(Do you spy a Badeline in the background?)
I mean, I’m thrilled Maddles loves veggies. It’s just …
And that’s why we call her the terrestrial remora.
P.S. Ferocious, Bonnie!