Good news from the USDA. Meat and poultry, which to date have not been marked with nutrition information, will begin including them in 2012:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced that it will be making important nutritional information readily available to consumers on 40 of the most popular cuts of meat and poultry products. Under a new rule, packages of ground or chopped meat and poultry will feature nutrition facts panels on their labels. Additionally, whole, raw cuts of meat and poultry will also have nutrition facts panels either on their package labels or available for consumers at the point-of-purchase.
What you need to know:
About 40 different cuts of beef, pork, lamb and poultry will be labeled. The label will list
- calories from fat
- saturated fat
- vitamins & minerals
much like the nutrition facts panels that appear on processed foods and are regulated by the FDA.
The important thing to keep in mind is portion size vs. serving size. Many of us eat portions that are 2 to 3 times the recommended serving size as defined by the USDA. Which means that a 250 calorie steak can easily balloon to 500-750 calories.
What to do at the supermarket:
We have an entire year to wait for this. In the meantime, keep looking for the leaner cuts of meat. Each gram of protein is only 4 calories, whereas fat is more than double at 9 calories per gram.