Tracking calories can be a hassle. The FDA has proposed changes to nutrition labels that could help and now they're asking the public to weigh in.
One change would make calories more prominent and in larger font. Also, for bag a chips or a can of soda that you would typically consume in one sitting, now the label will eliminate the servings and put total calories.
Also, adding daily values of Vitamin D and potassium to stress the importance of Vitamin D to the daily diet. Vitamin D is found in dairy products.
A change that has been resisted by companies is added "sugar added" to the label. For example, oranges naturally have sugar in them but orange juice typically has more sugar added. Now labels will have to differentiate between the natural content and what is added.
Methodist Hospital dietitian Whitney Wright says all this information will help us figure out exactly what we're putting into our bodies.
"Foods aren't either good or bad, foods are just food and we can incorporate any type of food into a healthy diet, it's just about balancing it, portion size and balancing" said Wright.
If approved, these changes would take effect in two years.
Excessively high calorie meals are being served at major restaurant chains. Every year, the Center for Science in the Public Interest releases the "Xtreme Eating Award" to expose high-calorie meals. Some of this year's meals may surprise you.
The Bruleed French Toast at the Cheesecake Factory may look harmless during that Sunday brunch with friends, but it's got 2,780 calories and 93 grams of saturated fat, about a week's worth. Plus more than 2,000 milligrams of sodium and a half-cup of sugar.
Worse than that is the Burger Monster Meal at Red Robin. The burger, fries and shake comes to 3,540 calories, 69 grams of saturated fat and more than 6,200 milligrams of sodium.
What it would take to work off a meal like that? Style Fitness & Nutrition trainer Ashley Gorham says a week’s worth of exercise!
There are ways to splurge, but in doses. “If you want to indulge and if you want to have a meal that's higher in fat, cut it in thirds and put the rest in a box. This way at least you're watching and it's calorie control," said Gorham.
“Eating is part of our life, it's part of our culture, it's part of friendship and family, so we need to exercise for health and eat appropriately for health, but we should never eat something and then want to work it off and then feel guilt about it,” said Wright.
Another suggestion when you eat some of those favorite meals is try using different ingredients with lower sodium or lower sugar substitutes.
When eating out, ask the waiter to put high-calorie extras like croutons or salad dressing on the side so that you can control how many calories you eat.