Easy Label Reading

Food labelling is always a tricky one. Manufactures, ultimately, want to sell you their products and this can be difficult when they contain ingredients such as saturated fat and sugar which are not desirable for the consumer. Therefore, labels are sometimes very confusing to interpret and often misleading.

Here are some top tips to help you become label savvy:

–          Your first step is to have a good look at the list of ingredients. These are listed in order of weight with the first ingredient listed making up the majority of the product and the last ingredient listed making up the least of the product. If sugar, saturated fat and salt are your first ingredients it may suggest that this is not a healthy option…

–          Next you need to have a look at the nutrition panel on the back of the packet. Here, it is important to always look at the 100g column and NOT the per portion column. The reason for this is that different products provide a wide range of “portion sizes” and it is therefore almost impossible to make comparisons between different foods. For example, one breakfast cereal may have the amount of sugar listed per 35gram portion of the product whilst another cereal may have the amount of sugar listed per 45g portion with added milk.

–          Then all you need is to be able to tell if a food is high in all those ingredients you are trying to avoid (fat, saturated fat, sugar or salt).  To do this have a look at the table below which can tell you if a particular product is high or low in one of 6 major ingredients. Why not print out this table and slip it into your purse or wallet for the next time you are out shopping .

Initially, it may take you a while when checking your food items but after a short time you will learn exactly what to look out for!

A Quick Guide to Food Labelling

Per 100 grams

What is a little?

What is a lot?

Fat

3 grams

20 grams

Saturated Fat

1.5 grams

5 grams

Sugar

5 grams

15 grams

Salt

0.3 grams

1.5 grams

Sodium

0.1 grams

0.5 grams

Fibre

0.5 grams

3 grams

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