Learning to read a food label can be really helpful when it comes to keeping an eye on what you eat. Most nutrition labels will tell you about the nutrients found in 100g of the food. Remember:

  • Fat-free does not mean sugar-free and the product might therefore still be high in calories
  • A reduced fat product only has to have 25% less fat and can therefore still be a high fat product (e.g. reduced fat cream or cheese)
  • A product termed cholesterol free can still contain fat in the form of vegetable oils and the calorie content may be high (e.g. canola oil can be labelled as cholesterol free)
  • A product that states ‘no sugar added’ might already have sugar in the natural form e.g. fruit juice already contains fructose or some other form of sugar e.g. glucose, maltose, etc.

Use the traffic light colours to help you get the balance right. Always look at the ‘per 100g’ column on the food label when using this card:

Traffic Light Table