The Importance of Canada’s New Nutrition Labels
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Everything you need to know about Canada’s new nutrition labels

Changes to Canada's New Nutrition Labels

In 2007, food labels in Canada became mandatory. These labels were designed to help consumers make decisions about the foods they are purchasing. It is law in Canada for most foods to contain a label but some foods do not. These include fresh fruit and vegetables, raw meat and poultry, raw fish and seafood, foods sold at farmer’s markets, and individual food portions not intended for re-sale (ex. Ketchup packages). In the past few years, the food labels in Canada have been undergoing some improvements to make the food labels and ingredients list easier to understand, helping Canadians make informed choices about the foods they are purchasing. By December 15th, 2022, all of Canada’s new nutrition labels will reflect and comply with new regulations. 

In this blog post, I’ll discuss the new changes to nutrition labels you’ll be seeing as well as why it’s so important for you as a consumer to know about these changes. 

The first thing to note is that there are 3 elements on a food label:   

  • Ingredient list  
  • Nutrition facts table   
  • Nutrient content claims or health claims   

These elements are designed to try and help consumers make healthier food choices. 

Everything You Need to Know About Canada’s New Nutrition Labels
Everything You Need to Know About Canada’s New Nutrition Labels

Changes to Canada’s New Nutrition Labels 

Here’s what you need to know about Canada’s new nutrition label updates:  

1) Serving size:

The nutrition facts table serving size will be consistent with similar foods to allow for easier comparison of products. The serving size of the food item will also reflect the amount consumed by a typical Canadian in one sitting.   

2) Bolded lettering:

The serving size and calories of the food item will be in a larger font to make them more visible and easier to point out. As well as the calories will be underlined with a bold line.  

3) Percent daily value:

These numbers you see on the labels have been revised by new science to reflect a typical Canadian intake.


4) Percent daily value for sugars:

This is a new feature to help consumers compare sugar content across products and to help identify food items that contain sugar, which should be limited if contain more than 15% of the daily value.  

5) List of nutrients:

This list has been updated to include potassium as this was a nutrient identified as not being met by most Canadians. Where Vitamin A and C are removed from the list as most Canadians get enough of these nutrients. The amounts of potassium, calcium, and iron will be listed in milligrams (mg), not just percentages.   

6) Footnote:

There has been a footnote added to the bottom of the nutrition facts table to help consumers understand the number of nutrients in their food. It shows what a little (less than 5%) and a lot (greater than 15%). 

7) Sugar-based ingredients:

These types of ingredients will be grouped together to help consumers identify all sources of sugar added to their foods. Sugar-based ingredients will be placed in brackets after the word ‘sugar’.  

8) Food colours:

These ingredients will be listed by the individual common names. This will help for clarity and allow for easy comparison of products. 

9) Formatting of the ingredient list:

New formatting regulations will help with the visibility and readability of the label. Text will be in black font on a white or neutral background. There will be a minimum type height, commas or bullets will separate ingredients, and upper- or lower-case letters will be used for listed ingredients. The same regulations will apply for any ‘may contain’ statements, noting the presence or potential presence of food allergens, gluten sources, or added sulphites in food products.   

10) Overall serving sizes:

These are intended to reflect the amount that Canadians eat in one sitting and are based on regulated reference amounts. These changes are different for single-serve or multi-serve packaging.   

11) Single-serve:

If the package contains up to 200% of the reference amount for that food the serving size will be the amount of the whole container.  

12) Multi-serve:

The serving size will reflect an amount as close as possible to the food’s reference amount.

13) Measuring amounts:

Foods that are measured in grams and milliliters will also show their imperial equivalents in cups, tablespoons and teaspoons. 

14) Foods that come in pieces

For example, crackers. The serving size for these foods will be shown as the number of pieces or as a fraction of the food with the weight in grams indicated.  

15) Front-of-package labeling:

Products that are high in sodium, sugar and saturated fats now require mandatory front of package labeling to help consumers easily identify these food products and to make healthier choices.   

Everything You Need to Know About Canada’s New Nutrition Labels
Everything You Need to Know About Canada’s New Nutrition Labels

Why are these changes to Canada’s nutrition labels important for me to know?

The reason why this is important is that when making decisions about the foods we provide for our family, we need accurate and up-to-date information to do so. Also, with an increase of awareness about our food system and intake over the past few years people are more conscious about the types of foods they consume. 

  • With the old labeling system portion sizes weren’t standard, so companies could make their products look better by making the serving smaller.  
  • The overall percentages were based on a general caloric intake instead of taking into consideration what a true Canadian consumes in a day, leading to misrepresentation of values. Allowing for front-of-label packaging will give consumers a straightforward indication of what nutrients are high in that product to be aware of.  
  • Sugar, adding in a segment on added sugars and grouping them together in the ingredients list allows for easy identification of the source. Why this is important is because there has been lots of confusion around the sugar content of food. As there are many foods that contain natural sugar this will help identify which products contain those natural sugars and which ones have been sweetened for palatability.  

Understanding the nutrients behind the food you eat is important. Do you know what you are looking at? If you have questions please reach out and a dietitian on our team can help you understand more about the foods you are purchasing.  

Interested in getting notified and staying in the know of other important nutrition information?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to learn more about healthy eating including articles, videos, healthy recipes, and more! Our nutrition newsletter is written by the Online / Calgary Nutritionists on our team who each hold a professional Registered Dietitian license to ensure you are getting credible advice.

Check out these related blogs on our website:  

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As seen in


Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This