Understand the INGREDIENT LIST.
Before I buy any product, I always check the ingredients list. I want to know if the product contains some other ingredients except for the one it claims to be. As part of a healthy diet, it is necessary to learn more about the food you are consuming, you can do this by checking the ingredients list and the nutrition facts on the label. But sometimes it can be confusing.
Ingredients to notice while you check labels:
The ingredients in the list sorted by order- from highest to lowest amount. The first ingredient will always be in the one in the highest quantity.
What should you avoid on a food label?
Check any ingredient that you don’t recognise. Look for: synthetic trans fats, solid fats, the amount of salt, added sugars (for example- high fructose corn syrup), artificial sweeteners and flavour enhancer like monosodium glutamate. Always aim to short ingredient list – the shorter, the better.
If you are buying a prepacked meal or any packaged food, check that you know all the ingredients listed on the ingredient list. Check for food additives that coded as E number, especially if it something that you are eating on a regular base, it is good to know what your food contains. E-numbers codes use for food colouring, preservatives, antioxidants, emulsifiers, stabilisers, thickeners and gelling agents.
Check also the nutrition facts and the serving size.
- high fat – more than 17.5g of fat per 100g
- low fat – 3g of fat or less per 100g, or 1.5g of fat per 100ml for liquids (1.8g of fat per 100ml for semi-skimmed milk)
- fat-free – 0.5g of fat or less per 100g or 100ml
- high in saturated fat – more than 5g of saturates per 100g
- low in saturated fat –1.5g of saturates or less per 100g or 0.75g per 100ml for liquids
- saturated fat -free – 0.1g of saturates per 100g or 100ml
‘Lower fat’ labels
For a product to be labelled lower fat, reduced fat or light, it has to contain at least 30% less fat than a similar product. These foods also aren’t necessarily low in calories. Sometimes the fat is replaced with sugar and may end up with similar energy content. To be sure of the fat content and the energy content, remember to check the nutrition label on the package. [1,2]