Nutrition labels are now available on 40 cuts of meat at your local grocer’s. The USDA mandated labeling came into effect this week, almost 20 years after the FDA mandated nutrition label appeared on packaged foods. There is no need for an ingredient list, as the product is itself a single ingredient.
This is a good thing for several reasons:
1. Serving size – we sometimes forget that the single most important factor in weight management is portion control. In the picture above we see that the serving size is 4 oz. That’s probably a lot less than many people actually consume. The calories on the label reflect a single serving. If you plan to eat more, the calories (and the nutrient values) need to be adjusted accordingly.
2. Saturated fat – you can see that even a “lean” cut of meat contains one third of your daily max for saturated fats. (Cholesterol is also high, but for most people the cholesterol in food is not translated to cholesterol in the blood. It’s the saturated fat that raises bad cholesterol levels (LDL).
3. Protein – meats are a great source of protein. In the example above, just 4 ounces give you 21 grams (25-35% of your required daily value). Most Americans get more than enough of their protein needs. As you can see, protein is not a difficult nutrient to consume.
Have you seen the new nutrition labels on meats? What do you think?