Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts are visible on most packaged foods
Nutrition Facts are visible on most packaged foods

A Nutrition Facts label will appear on most packaged foods, allowing shoppers to make healthy food choices when purchasing items.

However, knowing what to look out for is important in enabling you to select the right foods that offer the most health benefits.

Daily Value percentages

If a food has a Daily Value of 20 per cent for vitamin A, for example, this has 20 per cent of the amount of vitamin A you should consume in a day.

When comparing foods, you should aim for foods that have certain nutrients, while limiting others.

Carbohydrate and calorie values are of particular importance to gauge how much different foods are likely to affect our blood sugar levels.

Take the carbohydrate value into account rather than the sugar value, however, as if a product does have a high sugar value, that’s a good indication that the product is likely not purchased.

When picking starchy products, compare different products and aim to pick those with a lower carbohydrate value and higher fibre value.

Serving sizes

Nutrition labels will show nutrition either per 100g or, if fluid, per 100ml. Some nutrition labels may also give values per serving, in which case you make sure to check though how large each portion size is.

Some packaging may list a smaller serving size than you intend to have.

Some labels may require some calculation to work out how many carbs and calories are in a portion but you can use the ‘per 100g’ figure to compare similar products to see how the carbohydrates vary.

Be wary, when assessing a nutrition label, to ensure you know how much of the food product is being referenced when totalling values such as carbohydrates or calories.

Reduce your calories

Everyone should look to reduce their calorie intake when eating, but this is especially important if you are looking to reduce your BMI reading.

The calories section of a Nutrition label can help you manage your weight by displaying calorie content.

As a general guide, a low calorie meal is considered as one with 500 calories or less when all parts of the meal are accounted for.