Understanding Food Labels
Food labels have all the information you need to help you stay within your RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of sugar, salt, total fat, saturated fat and fibre.
It takes a little bit of practice to interpret some of these labels, but it is easy once you get used to it. You’ll soon be able to glance at a label and get the information you want. Labels vary slightly, but here’s how you can make sense of them.
The first category on every label is the ENERGY value. On the UK label this is expressed in kcal, i.e. calories. With the Slim Habit you won’t be counting calories, (except on Low Calorie Days) but the kcal (calorie) value gives you, at a glance, a very good indication of whether or not it is a high-calorie product or not. For example, if you take 2000 calories as a daily base-line calorie intake for an average adult, from the example above, a 30g serving would be 113 kcal (calories), which is 6% of base line calorie intake, so not high.
This is number of grams of total fat, that contains both saturated fat (bad fat) and unsaturated fat (good fat) – RDA 70 grams.
You are interested in the total fat content because this figure tells you if the product is high in fat or not.
‘Of which sarurates’: is the number of grams of saturated fat – bad fat – RDA 20 grams.
This is a crucial figure, and will tell you how much bad fat the product contains.
You are interested in theof which sugarsfigure. Look for the number of grams of sugar in the product – RDA 25 grams
The total quantity of salt expressed in grams – RDA 6 grams.
Salt is 40% sodium and 60% chloride. It’s the sodium that’s thebad part, so be careful when you see a label that lists sodium rather than salt. High sodium products need to be avoided. You have to multiply the amount of sodium by 2.5 to get the amount of salt. So your RDA of 6 grams is equal to 2.4 grams of sodium.
The number of grams of fibre. Unlike the other nutrition types above, the higher the figure the better – RDA >30 grams.
Guidelines – how to make a quick judgement
This table shows guideline amounts for you to be able to judge whether a nutrient is high or low. If you can memorise these you might find it helpful. At a glance you will be able to make a judgement about whether you should buy the product or not.
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