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It's the small things: Checking food labels

The science

Getting into the habit of checking the labels on your food can be really handy if you’re trying to eat a bit more healthily, as well as looking to cut down on certain ingredients such as sugar and saturated fats. Monitoring your salt intake is another good way to ensure you’re eating well, and the current food-labelling system makes this simple to do.

NHS guidance explains that generally, if something has 22.5g of sugar or more per 100g, then this is considered to be high. For saturated fat, more than 5g per 100g is a lot, and more than 1.5g of salt per 100g is also high, too.

How to make it a routine

When shopping or planning a meal, the traffic light system shown on food packets makes it really easy to check what you’re eating. Opting for foods with more green colours on their labels means they’re going to be better for you, so by being aware of what’s in your food you can quickly begin to change your habits. You may find yourself being surprised by the levels of salt and sugar in some of your favourite foods!

The outcome

Understanding how food is labelled is an easy way to control your diet. Avoiding red-coded foods as well as those with high sugar, salt or saturated fat contents is a simple change to make that can have lasting benefits for your overall health.

Sources

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/food-labelling.aspx

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