You went to the supermarket with enough time and wanted to choose the best options within a certain range of foods – let’s think, for example, yogurts.

You took 3 yogurts and compared them, ending up choosing the one with the lowest amount of calories and sugar. At first, the reasoning seems good, but how do you know if the options you chose were actually 3 good options or even 3 more options?

To read food labels in a simple way you need to pay attention to the following information:

  1. Ingredients List
  2. Nutrition Facts
List of ingredients:
  • Short list of ingredients: that has only the necessary ingredients – for example in the case of yoghurt milk- lactic starter and possibly a flavor and a sweetener.
  • Recognize that the ingredients are described in the list by descending order – the ingredient first is the one with the most amount present.
  • You should avoid foods with many ingredients that are unknown to you.
Nutrition declaration:
  • Verify if you are in front of a food/beverage for the purpose of choosing the card (It will be enough to see if it is for 100g – Food or 100mL – Beverage).
  • In the 100g/100mL column, you should check the quantity of: Fat, Saturated Fat, Sugar, Salt.
  • Compare with the reference values.

For Example: Food (100g) with the following nutrition declaration

  • Fat/Lipids: 0,2g
  • Of which saturated: 0.1g
  • Sugars: 5,3g
  • Salt: 2,1g

If you use a converter you verify that:

  • Fat: 0.2g has green light because it is below the 3g recommended.
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g has green light because it is below the 1.5g recommended.
  • Sugars: 5,3g has yellow light because it is between 5 and 22g recommended.
  • Salt: 2.1g has a red light as it is above the 1.5g recommended.

Now all you have to do is train at home. If you have any doubts just send me the food label in question!


Author: Ana Magalhães Pereira

Learn more about Ana’s work here or on her profile at Nutrium.