The aim is to eat mostly foods with a high nutrient content.
Anything with a barcode is processed and is simply designed to get you to buy it. So turn it around and check out the back for the nutritional breakdown and make your own mind up.
- “Low fat” or “fat free” is probably high sugar and for sedentary lifestyles this excess is stored as fat around the middle. If you are concerned about your weight then the first place to start is reducing confectionary, takeaways, fizzy drinks and alcohol not milk and yoghurt.
- “No additional sugar”, probably some sugar already in there. Sugar is not the enemy here we just need to manage our intake of it better.
- Sodium i.e. salt watch for this in meats, ham, bacon, and the less obvious canned and packaged soups, crackers and crisps which tend to be high in salt.
- Serving size your idea of a serving size is likely to differ from the manufactures size and they will lower this on the label so the amount of sugar, salt and fat appear smaller i.e. serving size per biscuit or 30g cereal, when in reality we all consume much more than this!
So at a glance …..
- An easy way is remember the Ingredients must be listed in order by quantity what makes up the most of the product first and the smallest last.
- Colour-coded nutritional information, tells you at a glance if the food has high, medium or low amounts of fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt. High = red, medium=amber and low= green.
- The breakdown- what you are looking for: put this into your phone so you can check if you are in doubt.
Total fat 3g of fat or less per 100g
Saturated fat 1.5g of saturated fat or less per 100g
Sugars 5g of total sugars or less per 100g
1 teaspoon of sugar = 4g sugar For example, if you are trying to cut down on sugar, limit your consumption of foods that have more than 5g of total sugars per 100g so look for the green colour code.
Salt Low: 0.3g of salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium)
However …. We can all get caught out here as remember the above will be listed per 100g and often the package is say 250g so the amounts will be increased and you sometimes have to work this out! So use the colour code system or ingredients by order of quantity for reading labels at a glance!