Category: Nutrition

Judging a food by its cover: Health Canada publishes

On July 20, 2022, Health Canada published amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations (“FDR“) creating a requirement for prepackaged foods whose contents meet or exceed certain thresholds of saturated fat, sodium and/or sugars to include a symbol on the front label of their packages.

The amended regulations come into force immediately and follow the announcement from the Minister of Health on June 30. Manufacturers will have until December 31, 2025 to change labels on prepackaged foods to comply with the new requirements.

Health Canada published these regulations under its mandate to promote the health and safety of Canadians. The introduction of thresholds that trigger the requirement for a FOP nutrition symbol indicating a “high” quantity of saturated fat, sodium and/or sugar is meant to help Canadian consumers make informed choices about their prepackaged food purchases.

FOP nutrition symbol

Prepackaged products that meet or exceed prescribed thresholds for saturated fat, sodium and/or sugar are now required to carry a FOP nutrition symbol on the label’s principal display panel to indicate that the food is high in one or more of those nutrients. The FOP nutrition symbol is meant to complement the Nutrition Facts table, which is found on

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Scan Your Shopping Cart With Yuka and Make Healthier Choices

The Yuka ratings for food come from three weighted considerations:

  • 60% from the Nutri-Score
  • 30% from additives
  • 10% based on whether the product is organic

Nutri-Score is used in many European countries, including Yuka’s native France. It is a simple five-color label categorizing food from A to E. Attributes like high energy density, sugar content, saturated fatty acids, and salt negatively affect the Nutri-Score, while fiber; protein content; and the presence of fruits, vegetables or rapeseed, walnut, or olive oil positively affect the score. The lower the score, the better.

Food labeling differs from country to country. Nutri-Score comes from the nutrient-profiling system developed by the British Food Standards Agency, but—confusingly—the UK uses a traffic light system instead, with color-coded ratings for energy, fat, saturates, sugar, and salt. The US relies on the FDA’s nutrition facts label, which breaks things down as a percentage of your recommended daily allowance. 

Some of what Yuka covers is included in current labels in Europe, but the app also takes into account potentially harmful additives. For example, Diet Coke is green with the Traffic Light system, but it appears orange in Yuka, which scores it 41/100 because of various additives (specifically, E950, E951, E150d,

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Reworking summer’s condiment — the sweet pickle relish

Sweet pickle relish is pivotal to making my tuna salad, salmon salad, topping a hot dog or a hamburger, or making my Thousand Island dressing or tartar sauce. If you believe that “pivotal” seems too strong, imagine what those would be like without pickle relish.

What bothers me about any regular sweet pickle relish is what makes it sweet: sugars.

Let’s look at the nutrition facts label on Target’s Good & Gather brand Organic Sweet Relish. A tablespoon delivers 20 calories. Organic cucumbers lead the ingredient list, followed by organic sugar. There are 4 grams of added sugar, which means 16 calories of that relish’s 20 calories come from sugar. Sugar delivers 80% of that relish’s calories; cucumbers contribute just 4.

Are no-sugar sweet pickle relishes available? Certainly.

Mt. Olive Pickle Company makes a No-Sugar-Added Sweet Relish sweetened with sucralose (Splenda).

Splenda, like NutraSweet (aspartame), is made in a chemical laboratory and depending on whom you believe, Splenda can be a dietary problem. Google it.

Does any pickle company worth its cucumbers make a sweet relish without artificial sugar substitutes like sucralose or NutraSweet?

None that I could find.

Are organic sweet pickle relishes available? You betcha.

Any that don’t

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‘Pink Sauce’ Goes Viral On TikTok, Here Are The Concerns

It’s pink. It’s sauce. What more could you want to know about Pink Sauce before consuming it? After all, what could possibly go wrong by putting something pink and gooey into your mouth? Well, clearly there have been a lot of questions about this so-called Pink Sauce that’s been promoted and sold by @chef.pii over the social media platform TikTok. Ever since Chef Pii showed herself dipping what appeared to be fried chicken in a mysterious pink sauce and then eating it in June, folks on social media have been essentially saying, “I have so many questions.” These questions have ranged from how does it taste to what’s actually in it to what’s up with the label and packaging to why the heck are people buying and consuming something when there are so many questions?

The following pair of tweets sort of summarize what’s been going on with this pink watery substance that sort of looks like Pepto-Bismol but isn’t Pepto-Bismol, at least it shouldn’t be:

As you can see, the second tweet included a TikTok video from

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Is Pink Sauce From TikTok Dangerous?: Will it Make You Sick?

Pink Sauce is one of TikTok’s latest viral crazes. The unusual pink-colored condiment made by Chef Pii has everyone talking, and a lot of people are asking if it’s safe to eat. Across social media, users are debating about whether it will make you sick and if it’s dangerous for Chef Pii to be shipping it to customers. We’ll take a look at the Pink Sauce controversy below.

Is Pink Sauce safe, or will it make you sick?

@chef.pii PINK SAUCE #chefpii #foryoupage #CheetosReaperReactions #pink ♬ look what I made – Sayden

According to all the info we’ve parsed, Pink Sauce is NOT safe, and you have a high risk of illness if you consume it. It is dangerous to ingest, and if you purchased it you should dispose of it immediately upon delivery. We’ll go into the multiple reasons why you shouldn’t eat it below:

Incorrect Labeling

On the Pink Sauce website, there’s a nutrition label that states the ingredient are:

  • Water
  • Sunflower Seed Oil
  • Raw Honey
  • “Distilled Vinger” (Vinegar?)
  • Garlic
  • Pitaya (Dragon Fruit)
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Less than 2% of:
  • Dried Spices
  • Lemon Juice
  • Milk
  • Citric Acid

The Nutrition Facts label includes erroneous information like claiming

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Maintain your brain health with lifestyle tips – Agweek

Most of the time I carry a yellow legal pad wherever I go at work. For some reason, using a white notebook doesn’t work as well for me.

Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension Service
Julie Garden-Robinson

Courtesy / NDSU Extension Service

My yellow notebook is a “portable brain” for me. Like everyone else, I have a lot of things to track. I like the immediate visual image on my notepad, even though many electronic systems are available.

I admit that I occasionally add things to my list that I have already finished. Then I mark my “task circle” with an “X.”

That way I have accomplished something on my list.

What we eat affects all aspects of our health, including our heart and our brain. Overall, a heart-healthy diet is a brain-healthy diet.

The greatest risk to our brain is a stroke. Controlling our blood pressure is a key to helping prevent strokes.

To help maintain a healthy blood pressure, moderate your sodium or salt intake and be sure to eat potassium-rich foods, such as plenty of fruits and vegetables. Potatoes and bananas are notable sources of potassium.

Read the Nutrition Facts labels on food products, because potassium content is now listed. Compare sodium content on

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F&B Companies Use Labels To Generate Sales

The FDA has been changing the data it requires on F&B product labels, and companies have been busy complying. But many companies can find something else there as well: opportunities to boost sales. F&B companies are finding they can use those labels and other real estate on their packaging to provide nutritional and other data to drive growth. The information on the FDA label and what you pack onto your label and packaging can be important ingredients in boosting sales.

The FDA updated its nutrition facts label for packaged foods twice, in 2016 and again in 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual sales, mandating information designed to help consumers make healthy choices. Smaller manufacturers had to update labels by 2021. And manufacturers of single-ingredient sugars like honey and maple syrup had until July 1, 2021. Calories are now in big, bold letters, while new information is in – and old information is out.

Those changes, though, were just the beginning. The

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Why the sugar industry hates the FDA’s new Nutrition Facts

In early 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it was going to consider making a few changes to the nutrition facts label found on just about every food item sitting on grocery store shelves around the nation. And the food industry freaked out.

For more than two decades, the label had gone unchanged, which, for the most part, food manufacturers seemed to like. Specifically, the industry was content that the label did not reveal the amount of “added sugars” in a product — the sugar content not present before the food was produced and packaged — or how much of these added sugars people should consume daily.

But suddenly, these things (as well as others) were being reconsidered. And the industries these changes were likely to affect weren’t about to just sit around and watch.

The nutrition labels on your food are getting an overhaul for the first time in 20 years as the FDA plans to make them easier to read. Here’s what you need to know. (Video: The Washington Post)

Several major food associations, including (but not limited to) the American Bakers Association, American Beverage Association, American Frozen Foods Institute, Corn Refiners Association, International Dairy

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How to Read Food Labels Without Being Tricked

Reading labels can be tricky.

Consumers are more health-conscious than ever, so some food manufacturers use misleading tricks to convince people to buy highly processed and unhealthy products.

Food labeling regulations are complex, making it harder for consumers to understand them.

This article explains how to read food labels so that you can differentiate between mislabeled junk and truly healthy foods.

One of the best tips may be to completely ignore claims on the front of the packaging.

Front labels try to lure you into purchasing products by making health claims.

In fact, research shows that adding health claims to front labels makes people believe a product is healthier than the same product that doesn’t list health claims — thus affecting consumer choices (1, 2, 3, 4).

Manufacturers are often dishonest in the way they use these labels. They tend to use health claims that are misleading and in some cases downright false.

Examples include many high-sugar breakfast cereals like whole-grain Cocoa Puffs. Despite what the label may imply, these products are not healthy.

This makes it hard for consumers to choose healthy options without a thorough inspection of the ingredients list.


Front labels

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There’s a new nutrition facts label for 2020. Here’s how to

In 2020, expect to see some of your favorite foods sport a new nutrition facts label as mandatory changes from the FDA go into effect. Based on updated dietary guidelines and the need for food transparency, the FDA designed new food labels to help consumers make smarter food decisions.

This change is years in the making: The FDA first announced the new rules on May 27, 2016, stating that the changes were to reflect advancements in nutrition science. This food nutrition label change is the first major update since the FDA first instated uniform food labeling in 1994. According to the FDA, these changes are “based on updated scientific information, new nutrition and public health research, more recent dietary recommendations from expert groups and input from the public.”

The new label is also more realistic about what people eat today and what fuels chronic disease. For instance, the added sugar requirement reflects knowledge about sugar and its relationship to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. 

The overall purpose is to help consumers make informed decisions about food that will improve their health and nutrition. 

The new food nutrition label.


When do these changes go into effect?

Large food

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