Food labels and nutrition labels are useful in helping you make informed, healthy choices when buying food products.
Reading food labels can provide you with information on healthier food products as well as help you decipher the nutrient claims that may be present on food packaging.
seven components of a food label.
Reading Food Labels—Making Sense of the Fine Print
Besides knowing that ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, know that some ingredients (such as fats and oils, salt and sugar) may be named differently in different ingredient lists.
Getting the Fats Right
The NIP of a product provides information on the nutritional value of the product. This includes energy, protein, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, carbohydrate, dietary fibre and sodium content. In addition, other nutrient values may be included in any specific claims that have been made.
It also advises what is the serving size and servings per package.
Healthier food choices can be easily identified by looking out for the Healthier Choice Symbol. Products carrying the HCS are generally lower in saturated fat, sodium, sugar and higher in dietary fibre, calcium, and wholegrains compared to similar products within the same food category. You can find out more about the HCS here!
Make a Healthier Choice Today!
Examples of claims include “high in fibre”, “light”, “reduced-fat” or “cholesterol-free”. All products with nutrient claims are required to put up a NIP for consumers to refer to. As such, always refer to the NIP as the claims do not specify the actual amount of nutrients present.
“No added sugar” may not necessarily mean no sugar.
Remember, be an informed shopper. Read the labels and follow the Healthy Diet Pyramid to help you achieve a balanced diet!
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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