6 March 12 Nutrition Facts Labels Now Required on Meats

Back in 1993 the USDA made nutritional labels on meat completely voluntary. Last week, however, the USDA made them mandatory. The new rule affects all ground meat and ground poultry, as well as 40 of the most popular cuts found in the U.S. Meat cuts like New York strips, chicken breasts, pork chops, and lamb kabobs will all have nutritional facts on them or prominently posted nearby.

The information included on these nutritional labels will include total calories, calories from fat, levels of saturated fat, protein, cholesterol, sodium and iron. Another change is that in addition to the lean content of meat (i.e. "85% lean"), labels will also show the fat percentage (i.e. "15% fat").

The hope is that this will help people comparison shop among different cuts and types of meat. In the United States, the average person consumes over 224 pounds of meat, poultry and fish every year (about .6 pounds per day). While this figure is lower than it has been over the last four years, it still represents a nearly daily intake of meat, so having nutritional labels present should help educate consumers about their purchases.

So what is good, lean meat anyway? According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, lean meat and poultry contains less than 10 grams of total fat and less than 4.5 grams of saturated fat in a three-ounce portion. Extra lean meat contains 5 grams of total fat and less than 2 grams of saturated fat. The best sources and cuts of lean meats are skinless chicken breast and cuts of beef or pork that contain the words "round" or "loin," such as top round, bottom round, tenderloin, sirloin, or top loin.

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

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Nutrients/Food label

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