Food labels provide information on the ingredients present in foods/drinks. They show how much sugar, salt, fat, calories etc. are contained in foods/drinks. This information is often provided for a specified quantity of the item and/or a serving . An example would be for breakfast cereal, typically there will be information provided for a 100g quantity and for a typical serving size of 30g.
Increasingly because of various food allergies to nuts, seeds, gluten etc., food labels also provide information on the presence of these ingredients. They also provide information on whether or not these products have been produced in an environment where there could have been contamination by these allergens.
Other ingredients that are often found on these labels are various additives. These include food colourings, preservatives, food stabilisers etc.
Are you wondering if you should pay attention to food labels? The answer is ABSOLUTELY! In my previous posts, Overly processed foods the bane of good health, Part 1 & 2 ; food labels would be a vital tool in keeping tabs on the harmful ingredients contained in these products.
Some of the ‘red flags’ to look out, for are the amounts and types of sugar contained in a product, the amount of salt. Also important is the amount and type of fats etc.
For people with food allergies, red flags will also include information on gluten, nuts and seeds etc. on food labels. It is crucial that people who suffer various allergies keep a close watch on labels. These allergens can sometimes be present when least expected, and unfortunately have been known to cause fatalities. This is especially so for nut/seed allergies.
It is also wise to keep a close eye on various additives. Some of these were mentioned above. They contain no nutrients whatsoever and may take away from the benefits to be derived from these foods.
The general rule is to beware of food products with too many ingredients and all ingredients you do not understand.