Whether your goal is a weight loss or you are just trying to get smarter when grocery shopping, it’s good idea to pay attention to food label. They can be very confusing and tricky but we need to learn to understand them.
A few quick tips can make shopping for healthy food a whole lot easier and can help you on your journey to lose weight and feel better. Ingredients on labels are listed in decreasing order by weight. So what it means is that the first few ingredients are the ones to consider. But sometimes the list of them is just too long and we do not want to spend 2 hours just on the grocery shopping.
Have a look at the first three ingredients. As a general guide, if sugars, salt or saturated fat are one of them, the product may not be good for you. Be careful with different names for them – sucrose, fructose, MCG, booster, milk solids, diglycerides, …
If your goal is a weight loss, it’s best to avoid discretionary foods as they provide few nutrients but plenty of kilojoules.
However, it is still possible to include small serves of discretionary foods, eaten occasionally and savored by eating slowly and enjoying the food with all our senses.
The Nutrition Information Panel on a food label offers the simplest and easiest way to choose foods with less saturated fat, salt (sodium), added sugars and kilojoules, and more fibre.
Do not rely on healthy claims on labels, just learn a few tips to choose healthier food.
- Generally choose foods with less than 10g of fat per 100g. For milk, yogurt and ice cream choose less than 2g per 100g. For cheese, choose less than 15g per 100g.
- Avoiding sugar completely is not necessary, but try avoiding larger amounts. If sugar content per 100g is more than 15g check that sugar is not listed high on the ingredient list.
- Choose lower sodium options among similar foods. Foods with less than 400mg per 100g are good, and less than 120mg per 100g is best.
You can find more information on https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/eating-well/how-understand-food-labels