The importance of understanding food labels when trying to lose weight
Food labels have been covered by the media extensively in recent years. In this article we will look more closely at what these labels contain and what that means for your health and nutritional needs.
It is so important that we look at what we are eating so that we have an informed choice about what we are putting in our body. That obviously involves the right information being available in the first place. In the past, food labelling and nutritional information has not been as clear as it could be. However, in 2004 that began to change when a review of general food and nutrition labelling legislation began.
New updated regulation began in 2011 (these things take time!), however, the majority of requirements weren’t applied until 2014 and the nutrition declaration for foods only became compulsory in 2016.
To make everything compulsory, regulations have always had to be agreed on a European level, so initially the UK government looked to introduce a voluntary system. The BBC reported on this story back in 2012, explaining the attempt to improve the consistency of the information that we get:
So what sort of information do we get?
I was initally going to summarise this on this blog post, however the NHS have done a very good job on the webpage below, in which they cover the basics.
- Nutrition labels on the back or side of packaging
- Nutrition labels on the front of packaging
- Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs)
- Traffic light colour coding
- Ingredients list
- Shopping tips
Please do have a look at the above site, it really is information everybody should be aware of when food shopping,
……and finally be aware that:
- A manufacturer’s idea of a portion may be different to yours
- Low fat does not mean good, they are often very high in sugar
- Lower fat might still be quite high, it just depends what they are comparing it to!
- A product labelled healthier/light does not mean that it is healthy.
- Don’t go shopping when you are in a hurry or very hungry, your choices may well not be as good.
- Things marketed as breakfast products are not automatically healthy and are often high in sugar.
I hope you find this helpful and useful in looking after your body a little better!
Remember you need to put the good stuff in to get the good stuff out.
I would love to hear about any instances where you have been confused by the food options in the shops. Perhaps we can help you out.
If you need any further tips on healthy eating, you can always consult your chiropractor who will be happy to help. Here at Lushington Chiropractic our team are committed to a holistic approach to healthcare. We look at the broader wellbeing of our patients instead of focusing purely on spinal misalignments. To achieve long-term benefits, we address everything from sleep to nutrition to help our patients.
By James Revell
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