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Nutrition 101

Looking to pick up healthier groceries? We have some ways to help you find them.

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Nutrition 101

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.

Healthier Choice Symbol
Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS)
Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS)

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.

What is the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS)?
WHAT IS THE HEALTHIER CHOICE SYMBOL (HCS)?  

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.

How many types of hcs logos are there?

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 6 variants and the categories they usually apply to:

How many types of hcs logos are there? - Brown rice, bread, pasta, cereals, steamed buns

Brown rice, bread, pasta, cereals, steamed buns

How many types of hcs logos are there? - Sweetened drinks, beverages, yogurt, cultured milk

Sweetened drinks, beverages, yogurt, cultured milk

How many types of hcs logos are there? - Fat spreads, oil, margarine, dairy products

Fat spreads, oil, margarine, dairy products

How many types of hcs logos are there? - Milk and dairy products, soy products

Milk and dairy products, soy products

How many types of hcs logos are there? - Biscuits, cookies, cakes, margarine, filled buns

Biscuits, cookies, cakes, margarine, filled buns

How many types of hcs logos are there? - Sauces, recipe mixes, seafood, canned and processed meat

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!

How many types of hcs logos are there?
Nutrition Information Panel
Nutrition information panel (NIP)
The NIP gives you an idea of the nutrients you’re getting out of your food.

The NIP gives you an idea of the nutrients you’re getting out of your food.

What is the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP)?

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:

What is the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP)?
4 servings of apricot per pack.
4 servings of apricot per pack.
One serving contains about 5 pieces of dried apricots (47g).
One serving contains about 5 pieces of dried apricots (47g).
Calorie content of dried apricots per serving and per 100g.
Calorie content of dried apricots per serving and per 100g.
Nutrient content of dried apricots per serving and per 100g.
Nutrient content of dried apricots per serving and per 100g.
HOW DO I USE THE NIP?

Whether you’re shopping or grabbing a bite, the NIP can help you make healthier food choices.

Before You Eat

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.

For example:

HOW DO I USE THE NIP? - Example
Tip 1

How many servings are there in this product?

The NIP says there’re 4 servings of apricot.

Tip 2

How many servings are you going to eat?

That’s 4 servings.

Tip 3

What’s the nutritional value per serving?

The NIP says that it’s 106 kcal per serving.

Tip 4

Calculate your nutritional intake.

You’re consuming 106 kcal per serving * 4 servings = 424 kcal.

Tip 5

Check your nutritional intake against the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) values and see if you are eating for optimal health.

For easy reference, here are the RDA values for all basic nutrients found on the NIP:

the RDA values for all basic nutrients found on the NIP - Men the RDA values for all basic nutrients found on the NIP - Women
When You're Shopping
1- Compare similar productsCompare similar products

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.

2- Compare the same nutrientsCompare the same nutrients

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!

Compare the same nutrients
Focus on a few key nutrientsFocus on a few key nutrients

Keep an eye out for specific nutrients that have a bigger impact on your health.

Individuals with weight concerns  

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  

Individuals with diabetes

Take note of the carbohydrate and fibre content, as they affect blood sugar levels.

Individuals with hypertension  

Individuals with hypertension

Products with lower sodium content are your best bet.

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