Food Labels!

Whenever I make a trip to the grocery I always end up confused with the wide variety of food products there is to choose from. Of course, p... thumbnail 1 summary

Whenever I make a trip to the grocery I always end up confused with the wide variety of food products there is to choose from. Of course, people can get a lot of influence from adverts..

Being a mom, my primary concern is to be able to choose a food products that has the right nutrient benefits for my family and price matters a lot too.

I came across this article from a newsletter my mom subscribes to. Its all about the importance of making informed choices by reading and understanding food labels. I just wanna pass this on since it can be a great help for us food shoppers.

Most food companies use product labels to inform consumers about the product, what it is, how much quantity is inside, when best to consume it, what ingredients and nutrients it contains, what health benefits it can give, and what it can do for the body;


1. TYPE OF PRODUCT - is is a cereal drink or a milk powder? Is it full cream or filled milk?

2. NET WEIGHT - refers to the quantity inside the package so the consumer will know how much they are paying for example a label on a pack of milk indicates 150 g full cream milk makes 5-6 servings.

3. CONTACT DETAILS - if consumers want to give feedback, how can the manufacturer be contacted?

4. INGREDIENTS LIST - provides a list of ingredients used in the manufacture of the product. Ingredients are usually listed from the most to the least amount. So if sugar is number one on the list, this tells us the product contains mostly sugar.

5. BEST BEFORE DATE - Before making a purchase, always look for the BEST BEFORE DATE. The consumer get the most out of the nutrients in the product before the date indicated as BEST BEFORE DATE.

6. NUTRITIONAL CLAIMS - descriptions such as low-fat, fat-free, non-fat, cholesterol free, lite, good source and excellent source are often found in product labels.

LOW FAT - means the product has 3 grams or less fat.
NON-FAT or FAT-FREE - means less than .5 grams of fat per serving
CHOLESTEROL-FREE means less than 2 grams of cholesterol per serving.
LITE - means 30% less calories than the original product.
GOOD SOURCE - means the specific nutrient it contains fulfills 10-19% of the daily RENI (Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intake)
EXCELLENT SOURCE – means the specific nutrient fulfills 20% or more of the
Daily RENI.

7. HEALTH CLAIMS – what are the potential health benefits of the product? (eg. Lower’s cholesterol level by 7% in 30 days by drinking 2 glasses each day…)

8. FUNCTION CLAIMS – these describe the way a nutrient or food substance maintains or supports a normal body function.

9. NUTRITION INFORMATION – this is the guide on how much nutrients are contributed by the product per serving based on the recommended requirement for the day. A good nutrition information should have the RENI column that indicates the percentage of nutrient that the product contains per serving.

SOURCE: GOOD LIVING MAGAZINE , Nestle Club Members Magazine December 2007 issue

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