Health & Body
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How can you be sure if supposedly healthy snacks, like an energy bar, are actually good for you? Scan the ingredients list for added sugars, and check the nutrition facts for the amount of sugar per serving. (Look out for syrups, fruit juice concentrates and anything ending in "-ose," like fructose or maltose. They're all sugars.) According to the American Heart Association, added sugar provides zero nutrients and too much can affect your heart health and your weight. The AHA recommends that most women limit their daily added sugar intake to no more than 24 grams (6 teaspoons), and most men have no more than 36 grams (9 teaspoons). Here's how some typical snacks shake out:

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You want to fuel yourself with foods that will give you the energy and nutrients you need to dance your best, but with all the conflicting information out there, it can be hard to figure out what's actually healthy. Last year, we found out that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would be giving the classic Nutrition Facts food label a makeover, to make labels more accurate and easier to understand. The FDA finalized the new label last week, and announced that the new label is expected to be on most packaged foods by July 2018.

We broke down the biggest changes so you'll know what to expect on your future trips to the grocery store:

Photo via FDA

1. Serving sizes. On the new label, serving sizes reflect what a person is actually likely to consume in one sitting. For example, both 12 oz and 20 oz drinks will now be considered one serving (as opposed to listing 20 oz bottles as multiple servings).

2. Calories. The number of calories is now displayed in larger font, making it easier to find. "Calories from fat" has been deleted, to acknowledge the fact that there are healthy fats, too.

3. The new "added sugars" line. This will show how much sugar has been added to the food, and will include the percent daily value it makes up out of a 2,000 calorie diet.

4. New nutrients. Labels will now be required to list the amount of Vitamin D (to help you develop strong bones) and potassium (which reduces muscle cramps).

 

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