Friday 22 November 2019

Decoding label jargon

More of us are taking the time to read food labels
More of us are taking the time to read food labels Newsdesk Newsdesk

More of us are taking the time to read food labels but we can end up confused or underestimating calorie or sugar content. The Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute has now helped to decode some of the jargon to help us eat more healthily.

Remember the following tips:

Ingredients are listed in descending order, ie largest ingredient first.

All nutritional information must be given per 100g or per 100ml.

Sodium is not the same as salt. Salt is sodium chloride so sodium is just one part of a molecule of salt.

"Of which sugars" indicates the amount of refined carbohydrate ­compared to complex carbohydrate - this should be less than 10g.

Do you calculate the correct calorie intake for the portion size that you eat? Examine this nutrition panel. A ­recommended serving size is 35g. If you eat three servings (75g), you take in three times the calories and other nutrients, ie 558 kcal instead of 186 kcal and 32.4g fat instead of 10.8g fat. This can easily happen with snack foods like crisps or nuts if you buy large bags "for sharing".

Low sugar - less than 5g sugar in 100g.

Sugar free - no added or naturally occurring sugar.

No added sugar - no extra sugar added.

Reduced sugar - at least 25pc less sugar than standard product.

High fibre - at least 6g fibre in 100g.

Reduced sodium (salt) - at least 25pc less sodium (salt) than standard product.

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