Shopping these days can be a ‘headache’ because there are so many different products to choose from, all wanting us to buy them. In order to get our attention, advertisers and promotions trick us into thinking their produce is the healthiest choice. Here are a few tricks they use to encourage us to buy.
No added sugar
This means sugar has not been added, however, the product is likely to contain fruit sugars or milk sugars and can still be considered high sugar. Check the nutrition information panel for ‘sugar’ content and follow healthy guidelines.
Lite or light
Could mean less fat, sugar, or salt, or it might just refer to the colour or taste! Check the nutrition information panel and ingredient list to compare with the regular brand.
Low fat or fat reduced
By law they must contain less fat than the regular product – however it may still not necessarily be low in fat and are often pumped full of extra sugar and salt to taste better. Use with caution!
Cholesterol free or low Cholesterol
These products may still be high fat and high energy. Check the nutrition information panel. Many of these products are cholesterol-free naturally, such as nuts, crackers, some chips etc.
The type of fat the product contains is more important. We want to avoid saturated and trans fats which contain cholesterol and are found in animal products, processed foods, and oily fish.
Diet’ or low kilojoule or low calorie
Generally contains artificial sweetener instead of sugar (40% less energy than regular product) and fat.
Toasted or Oven baked
Often these products have added fats and oils – it is important to check the fat content on the nutrition information panel. Some can be exactly the same as the fried version i.e. crisps or corn chips.
Doesn’t mean much! Sugar, fat, oil, cream and nuts are all natural.
Endorsed by the Heart Foundation
These products will be low in saturated fat, however, may not be low in total fat, sugar and energy.
Companies pay to have this logo on their product. Sometimes the cheaper home brands are jst as good as the expensive endorsed ones. Use with caution.No added salt, low salt, salt reducedIndicates extra salt is not added, however may still contain high levels of natural salts. Check the panel.
Diabetic or carbohydrate modifiedSome are high in fact. Usually more expensive. Often best to use the regal products but sparingly
How do you read the nutrition information panel