It’s easy to miss the nutritional information displayed on most food packets sold in the UK. But pay attention to these labels, and they can be the key to a healthier diet.
Take a look at any food label, and you’ll see a list of ingredients. The ingredients list is given in order of weight, so the main ingredients in the packaged food always come first. That means that if the first few ingredients are high-fat ingredients, such as cream, butter or oil, then the food in question is high-fat food.
Most food labels also contain a nutritional analysis panel. This will usually tell you how many calories there are in a single portion and also how many calories are contained in 100 grams. If you’re trying to lose weight, then it’s especially useful to know how many calories are contained in one portion of the food you’re looking at. But be aware: the manufacturer’s concept of a portion may be different from yours.
The nutritional analysis panel will also tell you the amount of fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt per 100 grams. The Food Standards Agency has issued useful guidelines to help you decide if a food is high in fat or sugar.
- Low fat = less than three grams of fat per 100 grams.
- High fat = more than 20 grams of fat per 100 grams.
- Low sugar = less than five grams of sugar per 100 grams.
- High sugar = more than 15 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
Thanks to the introduction of traffic light labels on the front of many food packets, you can find an even easier guide to fat, sugar and salt content.
Source : nutrition.about.com