The Health Guru

Facts, Hints, Tips, Advice and Inspiration on everything to do about health & weight loss.

How to read food labels – Part 1

Posted on | August 30, 2010 | No Comments

With the endless pre-packaged food options these days – it’s so important that you understand how to read and understand what’s being put in your food.

Here is some advice for how to read food labels. Practice at home from what’s in your cupboard and you’ll soon become an expert.

1. There are compulsory nutrients that must be listed on Nutrition Information Panels:
Energy (Calories); Protein, Fat (Total, Saturated and Trans); Carbohydrate (Total Sugars) and Sodium.

This is what a nutrition panel looks like:

Nutrition Panel

Nutrition Panel

2. There must be a ‘per serving’ column to help consumers assess the nutrition of the food (However this can be very deceiving!!) Remember to ALWAYS check how many servings come in the package you are eating.

Note: When looking at the nutrition panel above, you can tell that there are 72 biscuits in the package. They estimate that one biscuit weighs 3.6g and each biscuit contains 16.5 calories. (1 calorie = 4.18 kJ)
Therefore – if you ate 6 biscuits you would need to calculate: 16.5 calories x 6 = 99 calories.

3. There must also be a ‘Per 100g’ column to enable you to compare different products against each other (As not all products are same size).

Here is a reference for what you should be looking for in the nutrition panel to make the healthiest choice:

The following are large amounts per 100g:
30g+ of sugars
20g+ of fat
3g+ of fibre
600 mg+ of sodium

The following are small amounts per 100g:
2g of sugars
3g of fat
0.5g of fibre
200 mg sodium

Therefore…. a healthy choice would contain: Less than 2g of Sugar, Less than 3g Fat, Less than 200mg Sodium, More than 3g Fibre per 100g.

Related posts:

How to read food labels: Part 2
Once you’ve mastered reading the nutrition panel n...
How to find 'hidden' sugar on food labels
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    Last Message
    1 month
    • Info : Please, resolve the addition below before post any new comment...
    • Guest_1967 : Hi, would you know the nutrional information of Thai vermicelli salad? All I can find is for Phad Thai, but I'm looking for the boiled glass noodle one.
    • Health Guru : Thanks for the Thunder Tea Rice tip... I haven't eaten for ages - will go try it.
    • Guest_2263 : Hi Natalie, you need to check out Organic Thunder Rice in Bishan Bus Interchange. Cheers
    • Guest_4579 : please update..its years away now and theres a new version in the market as well.
    • Guest_2834 : Please update... :)
    • Guest_3832 : do u advocate low carb/keto dieting?
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