Look at the ingredients. The first ingredient listed is the one that is there in the largest amount. The next ingredient is there in the second largest amount and so on all the way to the last ingredient, which is there in the smallest amount.
So if oil, butter, cream or sugar come first, then that food is probably going to be high in calories! Get into the habit of looking at the ingredients in foods, especially if it is the first time you are buying it. The nutrition table is the grid on the back of the pack which tells you about the energy or calories, as well as the fat, protein, salt, sugar and fibre. Most nutrition tables will tell you about the nutrients that are found in g of the food. 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:.
20 Tips for Understanding Nutrition Labels | Eat This Not That
If you buy a food that has all or mostly green on the label, you know straight away that it's a healthier choice. Amber means neither high nor low, so you can eat foods with all or mostly amber on the label most of the time. But any red on the label means the food is high in fat, saturated fat, salt or sugars, and these are the foods we should cut down on. Most pre-packed food products also have a list of ingredients on the packaging or an attached label.
Ingredients are listed in order of weight, so the main ingredients in the packaged food always come first.
That means that if the first few ingredients are high-fat ingredients, such as cream, butter or oil, then the food in question is a high-fat food. You're standing in the supermarket aisle looking at two similar products, trying to decide which to choose. You want to make the healthier choice, but you're in a hurry. But remember, even healthier ready meals may be higher in fat and energy than the homemade equivalent. Get tips on how to eat on a budget. Page last reviewed: 5 June Next review due: 5 June Food labels - Eat well Secondary navigation Food and diet Nutrition and food groups Eating a balanced diet 8 tips for healthy eating The Eatwell Guide Food labels Food labelling terms Reference intakes on food labels Starchy foods and carbohydrates Dairy and alternatives Meat in your diet Fish and shellfish The healthy way to eat eggs Beans and pulses Water, drinks and your health Eating processed foods.
Adjust the number of calories if you eat smaller or larger portions. This number helps determine how foods affect your weight. The total carbs carbohydrates are listed in bold letters to stand out and are measured in grams g. Sugar, starch, and dietary fiber make up the total carbs on the label. Sugar is listed separately. All of these carbs except fiber can raise your blood sugar. If you have diabetes and count carbs, you can subtract the number of grams of dietary fiber from the total carb number. Dietary fiber is listed just below total carbs.
The Basics of the Nutrition Facts Label
Buy foods with at least 3 to 4 grams of fiber per serving. Whole-grain breads, fruits and vegetables, and beans and legumes are high in fiber. Check the total fat in 1 serving. Pay special attention to the amount of saturated fat in 1 serving. Choose foods that are low in saturated fat.
About Food Labels
Skim milk has only a trace of saturated fat. Whole milk has 5 grams of this fat per serving.
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Fish is much lower in saturated fat than beef. Three ounces 84 grams of fish has less than 1 gram of this fat. Three ounces 84 grams of hamburger has more than 5 grams. If a food has less than 0.
Food labels: understanding what’s in my food
Remember this if you eat more than 1 serving. You should also pay attention to trans fats on any food label. These fats raise "bad" cholesterol and lower your "good" cholesterol. These fats are mostly found in snack foods and desserts. Many fast food restaurants use trans fats for frying.