Health Canada initiated new food labelling laws in January 2003. With the nutrition information on food labels you will be able to:
- Compare products more easily
- Determine the nutritional value of foods
- Better manage special diets
- Increase or decrease your intake of a particular nutrient
Nutrition facts, the list of ingredients and nutrition claims can help you make informed food choices. The Government sets rules that must be met before a nutrition claim can be made on a label or advertisement. A claim highlights a nutrition feature of a food. Look for one of these words: “free; low; less; more; reduced; lower; very high; light/lite; source of; high source of; good source of; excellent source of”. A claim may also highlight a relationship between diet and disease. For example:
- A healthy diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruit may help reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
- A healthy diet low in saturated and trans fats may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Ingredients in the food are listed by weight from most to least. The ingredient list is a source of information for people with allergies or for people who avoid certain ingredients based on their beliefs. To see what the new mandatory food label will look like and for more detailed information click on the link below: www.healthcanada.ca/nutritionlabelling