It’s important to know how to read food labels to help you make decisions about the products you buy and consume, so you can follow a healthy diet.
Have you ever been confused when reading food labels? Australian law requires all manufactured foods to have labels containing safety and nutritional information.
Have you ever been confused when reading food labels? They can often be difficult to understand. Australian law requires all manufactured foods to have labels containing safety and nutritional information. It’s important to know how to read food labels to help you make decisions about the products you buy and consume, so you can follow a healthy diet.
Here is all the information you need to know from the home doctor experts at House Call Doctor.
What information is on a food label?
Food labels will tell you:
- Product name
- Brand name
- Ingredients (from largest to smallest by weight)
- Use-by or best-before date
- Nutritional information
- Manufacturer details
- Information for people with food allergies
- Any food additives
- Directions for use and storage
- The country where the food was produced.
How to read the Nutrition Information Panel?
The Nutritional Information Panel provides useful information about the size of a standard serving of a product and the nutrients it contains. You can compare products by looking at information about:
- Energy: energy is measured in kilojoules. If you are wanting to lose weight, you will need to reduce the number of kilojoules you consume.
- Fat: Fat is higher in kilojoules than other nutrients, so you should limit the total amount you eat.
- Saturated fat: these fats are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and high blood cholesterol, so it’s important to choose foods low in saturated fat.
- Carbohydrate: these are found in all fruit and vegetables, all breads and grain products and sugary foods.
- Sugar: sugar is a type of carbohydrate and it is better to choose healthier carbohydrates and to limit foods that are high in added sugars.
- Fibre: high fibre foods are good for digestion and to help you feel full.
- Sodium: this is the salt content in a product. Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
Health Star Rating system
The Health Star Rating system appears on the front of the product and is designed to help you choose healthier foods at a glance. Packaged foods are given a rating between ½ and 5 stars which is calculated according to the ingredients. The more stars, the healthier the product.