Week 9 – Reading Nutritional Labels

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Have you ever gone to the shops thinking:

“Today is the day, I am going to make a change. I am going to buy healthier food options for my family”

Only to be bombarded by the 100’s of products to choose from claiming to be the healthiest product, the lowest in fat, blah, blah, blah. And you end up buying what you normally buy because you are so overwhelmed, confused and  spent way too long in the shop already.

Food labels can be confusing to understand but if you know what to look for, you can then make the best choices for your health and you families health.

It is important to know when comparing products that you compare per 100g because each product will most likely have a different serving size, you don’t want to be comparing bananas with apples.

Below is a breakdown of what to look for, click on the link below it to go to the website.

reading-a-nutritional-labelUnderstanding a Nutritional Label

Here is a few nutritional claims and what they mean:

Low fat – this food must have 3g of fat or less per 100g but be careful as it may be higher in sugar so that it will still taste good

Fat free – Must have .15g of fat or less per 100g

Lite or Light – Check the label because lite might mean light in colour, taste or something else not fat, salt or sugar

No added sugar – It has no added sugar but it may be still high in sugar. Check the label

No added salt – Has ‘no added salt’ but it still may be high in salt. Check the label

Salt reduced – this food has 255 less salt than a similar product

Low salt or low sodium – must have <120mg sodium per 100g. This is a good choice

High fibre – must have >3g of fibre per 100g. This is  a good choice

Different names for certain ingredients:

Sugar: sucrose, fructose, dextrose, maltose, glucose, lactose, molasses, syrup, malt, extract, raw sugar, brown sugar, modified carbohydrates

Salt – Sodium, rock salt, onion salt, celery or garlic salt, vegetable salt, MSG, yeast extracts, boosters, stock, baking soda, sodium, bicarbonate

Fat – oil, shortening, tallow, lard, dripping, cream, copha, milk solids, butter margarine

These are just a few I am sure there are a lot more.

I hope this helps a little. However when you are trying to buy healthier products start small maybe one or two healthier product changes otherwise you could be in the shop the whole day!!!

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