Looking to pick up healthier groceries? We have some ways to help you find them.
Finding wholesome food options in the supermarket may not always be a walk in the park. But don’t worry: the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS) makes them extra easy to spot. Or, you can also use the Nutrition
Information Panel (NIP) to pick a healthier food item that better suits your diet.
Products that carry the HCS are healthier food options that meet HPB’s nutritional guidelines – making it easier for you to find wholesome products when grocery shopping.
The HCS is a logo found only on the packaging of healthier food products.
Products with the HCS usually contain less total fat, saturated fat, sodium and sugar. They may pack more dietary fibre, calcium and wholegrains than similar food products.
The HCS comes in a range of variants that highlight different nutritional benefits across food categories. To know which benefit each item offers, simply look at the line below the red icon.
Here are 13 variants and the categories they usually apply to:
Brown rice, bread, pasta, cereals, steamed buns
Milk, dairy and soy products
Beverages such as carbonated drinks and isotonic drinks, yogurt, cultured milk, chocolate confectionery
Beverages such as coffee and tea, fruit spreads, dried fruit
Beverages such as non-carbonated and Asian drinks, isotonic drinks, carbonated drinks and water
Sauces, recipe mixes, seafood, ready-to-eat legumes, nuts and seeds, canned and processed meat, convenience meals
Fresh and frozen seafood, frozen and chilled vegetables, herbs and spices
Dairy products, edible oils, convenience meals
Margarine, fat spreads, edible oils, savoury biscuits and crackers, breads and rolls
Cereal beverages, bread, legumes, cereal-based convenience meals
Sauces, recipe mixes, seafood, canned and processed meat
So, why not try a variety of HCS products to balance your diet?
But like all food, they are best taken in moderation!
The NIP gives you an idea of the nutrients you’re getting out of your food.
The NIP shows how much of each nutrient a serving of the food item contains.
Here’s a sample NIP for a pack of dried apricots:
Whether you’re shopping or grabbing a bite, the NIP can help you make healthier food choices.
Just so you know, the serving size may be different for every product. It’s not necessarily a suggestion of how much to eat!
But you can use the serving size to help you figure out a healthy portion.
How many servings are there in this product?
The NIP says there’re
4 servings of apricot.
How many servings are you going to eat?
That’s 4 servings.
What’s the nutritional value per serving?
The NIP says that it’s
106 kcal per serving.
Calculate your nutritional intake.
106 kcal per serving * 4 servings = 424 kcal.
Check your nutritional intake against the
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) values and see if you are eating for optimal health.
Pick products from the same food category. That means comparing a brand of milk to another brand of milk, not another brand of yogurt or ice-cream.
Look at the values of the same nutrient per 100g. Pick the product that’s lower in calories, saturated and trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. The more fibre, vitamins and minerals it has, the better!
Keep an eye out for specific nutrients that have a bigger impact on your health.
Individuals with weight concerns
Pick products with more dietary fibre, fewer calories and lower fat and sugar content. Serving size can help you decide how much to eat in one sitting.
Individuals with diabetes
Take note of the carbohydrate and fibre content, as they affect blood sugar levels.
Individuals with hypertension
Products with lower sodium content are your best bet.
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