How To Read Food Labels

Sometimes very misleading!

If you take health seriously it is vey important you understand how to read a food label as it is not always what you think!

Look at the product in front of you…

1. First- Check the date for freshness

2. The products content appears in descending order from the main ingredient, then the second biggest and so on. You will be able to see what percentage of the product’s characterizing ingredients constitutes. So for example: Peanut butter- you will know how much of the spread is actually peanuts. With yoghurt and jam- you may find the main ingredient is ‘sugar’. Or in peanut butter, the second ingredient may be ‘sugar’- which means that it is mostly made from sugar, rather than pure peanuts..hmmm!

3. Nutrition panel: The top section spells out the serving size of the food. Tricky here. For example a yoghurt -may say per 100g (this amount of sugar and fat) but in actual fact the yoghurt you are about to eat is 200g….so then you must double the sugar and fat content. Did you know this?

4. Sugar content- aim at having a product that has no more than 10g of sugar per 100g. I would suggest to avoid any product with sugar being a main ingredient.

5. Fat- most important thing to look at is…how much saturated/trans fat- these are the baddies!  If a product is low fat- should have no more than 2g of fat and a normal product, no more than 4g of fat. Usually ‘low fat’ means ‘more sugar’ – or hidden artificial sweeteners/preservatives. So careful!

6. Sodium/salt- we only need 1tsp. of salt a day! There is a lot of hidden salt in breads/cereals/snack packs/chips/roasted nuts-. Guideline: For each product, aim at 250mg-300mg per 100g. More than 400mg of sodium per 100g is considered high!

7. Can you pronounce the ingredients? If you can’t…do not buy it! Check for artificial sweeteners (aspartame) and sugar alcohols. We want to aim for all natural ingredients!

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  • Steph

    What about coconut oil? Does that mean that it is bad because it’s high in saturated fat? Thanks x

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