The new nutrition icon for foods rich in saturated fats, sugars and sodium

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New icon coming to food labels.

Foods high in saturated fats, sugars or sodium will be required in 2026.

They will come with a magnifying glass and text on the front of the food.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says it will help consumers make more informed and healthier food choices.

“Diets rich in these nutrients increase the risk of chronic disease and decrease our overall wellness, which is why we want to know which group of foods has a lot of them,” Duclos says.

The health secretary also gives food manufacturers time to respond to the label change.

“This is because it is in line with other changes in regulations regarding packaging and information that the industry also has to follow for other files,” Duclos says.

Organizations such as Diabetes Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation have welcomed the new posters.

Dr. Andrew Pipe of the Heart and Stroke Foundation says such foods account for half the calories consumed by adults and even higher for children.

“Clear, easy-to-understand nutrition information on foods and drinks that are high in sodium, sugars, and saturated fats will help guide people away from these products and support them to make healthier choices,” says Dr. Pipe.

It may also lead food manufacturers to make healthier foods, Pipe says.

Among the products excluded from the new label are ground and shredded meat, poultry and fish.

Other foods that will not be required to display the nutrition icon include:

  • Foods excluded for technical reasons, such as:
    • Individually packaged portions that are intended only to be served by a restaurant or other commercial establishment to accompany meals or snacks (for example, individually cut biscuits served with soup or creams served with a cup of coffee)
    • Milk and cream are sold in refillable glass bottles
    • Food in very small packages
    • Raw whole cuts of meat, chicken and fish that do not contain a Nutrition Facts table
  • Foods that have a protective effect on health, such as fruits and vegetables without added sodium, sugars or saturated fats
  • Some dairy products such as plain milk, yogurt and cheese because they are important sources of calcium needed to promote bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • Raw meat and poultry with individual ingredients to avoid giving the impression that they are nutritionally inferior to whole cuts without a food symbol
  • Butter, sugar, salt and other products used for the same purpose as butter, sugar or salt, such as:
    • honey
    • celery salt
    • Maple syrup
    • vegetable oils
    • seasoning salt
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