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New FDA sugar-labeling proposal could change the way your food is made

Justina Huddleston is an editor and the head writer for TDmonthly Magazine. She has been a freelance writer for several years, though her real passion is cooking. You can see the recipes she creates on her vegan food blog, A Life of Litt...

Proposed sugar-labeling changes might push food makers to reduce added sugars

The FDA has proposed new rules for labeling added sugars on food, and the soda industry and sugar groups aren't too happy.

The new regulations would require companies to list a daily value for sugar on their labels. Currently, though daily values are required for things like fat, cholesterol and sodium, sugar doesn't have to be labeled. But under the proposed regulations, manufacturers would have to "not just state how much sugar is in a food, but how much added sugar it contains," reports Fortune. Sugar would also be shown not in grams, but as a percent daily value, "the amount of added sugar you are advised to consume each day in your diet." That amount is no more than 200 calories or 10 percent of your daily caloric intake.

More: Is sugar toxic?

Most adults currently get 13 percent, and kids, 16 percent, of their daily calories from sugar. The FDA hopes that "the label may encourage manufacturers to reformulate existing products and offer new products with a healthier nutrition profile," while also helping consumers understand how much sugar they're actually getting in their diets.

More: How to sideline sneaky sugars

And some foods could use a makeover. I mean, who wants to live life without the occasional candy bar or barbecue chicken? The law hasn't passed yet, but it would be great if manufacturers could decrease the added sugars in foods we already love so we can, you know, continue to enjoy them.

More: How to spot hidden sugars in your everyday foods

In the meantime, you can take a look at the amount of sugar in some of the common foods you're probably eating.

Sugar levels in common foods, based on a 2,000-calorie diet

One gram of sugar has approximately four calories, according to the USDA. Calorie count is for granulated sugar only. Other forms of sugar, such as those found in high fructose corn syrup, may have slightly different calorie counts.

Do you think the new labeling would affect how you choose your groceries?

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