Food labels explained

23rd August 2011 - Fine Cut

Deciphering food labels can seem like a daunting task but it doesn't have to be that way, according to nutrition writer Nicole German.

She told how learning how to read the labels properly could make the process easy and enjoyable.

"First, start at the top of the nutrition fact label and read to the bottom," she advised. "Check how many servings are in the entire container and what the portion size is for one serving."

If consumers perform this basic step each time they pick up food, they'll get to know what sort of portion sizes are included in their favourite foods. They can then use this information to match up the calorific content.

"Next, check the calories and fat. Sodium and cholesterol are next. We want to try to keep the sodium as low as possible," she argued. Furthermore, information regarding the carbohydrate content and protein is clearly shown on food labels - another important aspect to consider.

Lastly, consumers must also be sure to read the actual ingredients. This may seem silly, but they are usually listed with the greatest weight at the beginning - providing an easy way to ensure the main ingredient is health.

"If sugar is your first ingredient, the food is probably not a good choice," German concluded on

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