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Before I buy any product I always check the ingredients list.

I want to know if the product has many other ingredients except the one it claims to be.

It is important to check the label but sometimes it can be confusing.

Ingredients to notice while you check labels:

  • The first ingredient will always be in the highest quantity.
    All the ingredients are listed from highest to lowest amount.

  • What should you avoid on a food label?
    Check any ingredient that you don’t recognise.
    Look for: synthetic trans fats, solid fats, the amount of salt, added sugars (for example- high fructose corn syrup), artificial sweeteners and flavour enhancer like monosodium glutamate.

  • Always aim to short ingredient list – the shorter the better.

  • If you are buying a ready to eat food, check that you know all the ingredients on the ingredient list.

    Google the ingredients you don’t know, learn what is it used for and if it is associated with health risks.

  • Check for food additives that are coded as E number and their chemical compound.

    E numbers are coded for food colouring, preservatives, antioxidants, emulsifiers, stabilisers, thickeners and gelling agents.

  • Check the nutrition facts and the serving size.

Total fat

  • high fat – more than 17.5g of fat per 100g
  • low fat – 3g of fat or less per 100g, or 1.5g of fat per 100ml for liquids (1.8g of fat per 100ml for semi-skimmed milk)
  • fat-free – 0.5g of fat or less per 100g or 100ml

Saturated fat

  • high in sat fat – more than 5g of saturates per 100g
  • low in sat fat – 1.5g of saturates or less per 100g or 0.75g per 100ml for liquids
  • sat fat-free – 0.1g of saturates per 100g or 100ml

‘Lower fat’ labels

For a product to be labelled lower fat, reduced fat or light, it has to contain at least 30% less fat than a similar product.

These foods also aren’t necessarily low in calories. Sometimes the fat is replaced with sugar and may end up with a similar energy content.

To be sure of the fat content and the energy content, remember to check the nutrition label on the package. (1)(2)



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