Saturday, 16 July 2011

Traffic Light and Nutrient Guides Fat, Sugar and Salt

Making healthy choices when shopping for food isn’t always that easy, especially if you’re buying food that’s been processed in any way. Although nutritional labels can be helpful by informing you how many calories a product contains, or how much fat it has per portion, sometimes you need to read the small print just to find out whether something is really high in fat, sugar or calories.

For example, some products might be promoted as being reduced in fat, but it could still be a high fat product. And of course, manufacturers aren’t going to advertise this aspect. Instead, you can get a clearer idea of whether a product is high or low in fat, sugar or calories, by inspecting the nutritional label and looking for the amounts per 100g.

The table below can give you an idea of what amounts are considered, high, medium or low per 100g for sugar, fat and salt.

Nutrient per 100g
High
Medium
Low
Sugars
Over 15g
5g - 15g
5g and below
Fat
Over 20g
3g – 20g
3g and below
Saturated Fat
Over 5g
1g – 5g
1.5g and below
Salt
Over 1.5g
0.3g – 1.5g
0.3g and below
 Source: Food and Drink Federation

The table below shows how many grams per day the average healthy, normal weight person needs of the various different nutrients commonly found on nutrition labels.


Daily Guidelines for Different Nutrients
Typical Values
Women
Men
Children
(5-10 years)
Calories
2,000 kcal
2,500 kcal
1,800 kcal
Protein
45g
55g
24g
Carbohydrate
230g
300g
220g
Sugars
90g
120g
85g
Fat
70g
95g
70g
Saturates
20g
30g
20g
Fibre
24g
24g
15g
Salt
6g
6g
4g

Source: Food and Drink Federation

So next time you're unsure whether something has too much salt, fat or sugar to be considered healthy, just look at the amounts per 100g and make an informed judgement for yourself.

© Diets and Calories 2011

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