Food labels contain so
much information, it’s often difficult to know what you should be
looking for and what it all means.
But if you want to improve your diet and make healthy choices,
its important to get in the habit of checking the label.
What should I look for on the label?
Most products have nutritional information on the label. Some
products also have traffic lights on the front of the product,
helping you to make informed and healthier choices at a
The healthy foods to opt for are those that are low
in total fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar. Our Guide to food labelling can help you
understand nutritional information.
Want to know more?
Take our traffic lights quiz and find
out the difference traffic light food labelling can make to your
What else should I look for?
Most adults are eating more salt
the recommended maximum of 6g a day. You may see ‘sodium' listed on
the label rather than salt. To convert sodium into salt you need to
multiply the measurement on the label by 2.5.
Reduced and low fat are not the same thing
means a product has 3g or less
fat per 100g, while reduced fat means a product is 25 per cent
lower in fat than the standard product.
Often these foods were very high in fat to start with, for
example mayonnaise, crisps and cheese. You still need to limit
how much you eat as the reduced fat version is likely to still be
high in fat.
Watch your portion sizes
A manufacturer's idea of a portion size might be smaller than
yours. A product may look healthy, but even with healthier choices
if you eat large portions, you may end up consuming more calories
than you need.
Spot hidden sugars
Sugar is not always listed in the ingredients as ‘sugar'. Look
out for the following terms; sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose,
honey, palm sugar, hydrolysed starch, syrup and invert sugar.
Remember, the higher up on the ingredients list sugar is, the
more added sugar is in the product.