Ministry of Health Singapore. All Rights Reserved.
The Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS) helps you to make healthier choices when choosing products in the supermarket. Read on to find out more
If you are a shopper looking for healthier food choices, all you have to do is to look out for the Healthier Choice Symbol. Today, about 2600 different food products, spanning across 70 food categories such as convenience meals, sauces, beverages, snacks and breakfast cereals, have qualified for the HCS.
Using the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS) to guide your grocery purchases is one way to incorporate healthier options into your diet. Products with the symbol are in general lower in fat, saturated fat, sodium, sugar and higher in dietary fiber, calcium and whole-grains. To make nutrition labelling more comprehensive, HPB is introducing the enhanced versions of the Healthier Choice Symbol, each of which focuses on a particular nutritional aspect of the product.
There are a total of six nutrient specific claims above the original logo. Each product will carry one of the six logos. Some products may carry two claims appropriate to the product should it satisfy the nutritional guidelines.
Products carrying this logo contain at least 20% more whole grains compared to similar products from the same food category.
The benefits of whole grains go beyond its fibre content. Whole grains are also important sources of anti-oxidants like vitamin E, selenium and phytochemicals. These food components work together to help lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Whole grains may also play a role in weight management.
Foods carrying this logo include brown (or unpolished) rice, brown rice vermicelli (bee hoon), wholegrain breakfast cereals, wholemeal breads, wholegrain pasta and wholegrain cereal beverages.
Products carrying this logo contain at least 25% more calcium compared to similar products.
Calcium helps support the development of strong bones and teeth. A healthy diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D, with regular exercise, helps to achieve strong bones and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Foods carrying this logo include calcium fortified soy products, milk and milk products.
Products carrying this logo contain at least 25% less sugar compared to regular sweetened beverages or products from the same food category.
Added sugars in food provide empty calories with little nutritional value. Excessive consumption of foods high in added sugars can contribute considerably to energy intake. Excess energy intake if not expended through physical activity can lead to weight gain and obesity. Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes coronary heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.
Foods carrying this logo include Asian drinks, sweetened drinks, cultured milk products, juice drinks and dried fruits.
Products carrying this logo contain at least 25% less sodium compared to similar products.
Excessive sodium intake increases blood pressure, a major risk factor for stroke and kidney disease. Evidence suggest that sodium intake of less than 2000mg of sodium per day is beneficial in reducing blood pressure.
Foods carrying this logo include sauces, recipe mixes and paste, canned and processed meats, processed seafood-based foods, dried legumes, nuts and seeds.
Products carrying this logo contain at least 25% less saturated fat compared to similar products.
Saturated fat tends to raise total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). High levels of LDL increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
Foods carrying this logo include dairy products, edible oils, fat spreads, convenience meals and 3-in-1 beverages.
Products carrying this logo contain no or negligible amounts of trans fat i.e. less than 0.5g per 100g of the product.
Trans fat like saturated fat, increases the risk of heart disease. It not only increases the LDL levels, but also decreases the level of good cholesterol (High-density lipoprotein) in the blood.
Foods carrying this logo include margarines, edible oils, biscuits and cookies, cakes, breads and rolls.
Healthier Choice Symbol products are healthier than those without the logo as they contain less sodium, saturated fat, sugar and, or free of trans fat, or higher in calcium, dietary fibre and whole grains. Though these HCS labelled foods are healthier than those in the similar food groups, all foods that are consumed in excessive amount can cause weight gain. Hence, even when eating foods with the HCS, remember to consume in moderation.
Read these next:
This article was last reviewed on
Monday, November 4, 2019
Fun Fruity Facts for Health
Eating Light At A Hawker Centre Is Possible
Getting Your Caffeine Hit
What is a Healthy Weight?
What Should My Daily Calorie Intake Be?
View More Programmes
With a curated suite of tools and resources, HealthHub Track gives you personalised lifestyle recommendations and easy-to-follow weekly plans to help you reach your health goals.
Your health is yours. Caring for yourself is caring for your loved ones. Take charge and start your journey to good health today!
Find out what makes up a comprehensive diet that fulfils all your baby’s nutrition needs at every stage of growth.
Browse Live Healthy
Ministry of Health Singapore. All Rights Reserved.