Food labels are important sources of nutrition information for us to make smarter food choices. Here are 5 items to look out for.
Quick info at a glance
1. Nutrition information panel provides a quick snapshot of a product’s key nutrients, presented as per 100 g/100 ml and per serving. Note: Nutrients MUST be presented in both formats.
When buying different brands of similar products, always make comparisons of the energy and nutrient content based on per 100 g/100 ml.
2. Energy icon shows the amount of energy (in kilo calories) in one serving. The percentage is based on an average adult’s energy requirement.
3. Healthier choice logo can be found on foods and beverages that meet certain nutrient criteria set by the Ministry of Health and is considered to be “healthier” within the same food or beverage category. However, your buying decision should not be based solely on this logo; do check the nutrition information panel for details.
4. Ingredient list shows the ingredients contained in the food product. Ingredients are always listed in descending order of their weight, starting from the most to the least.
5. Nutrition claims
- Content claims: Description of nutrient levels (e.g. low in sugar, high in protein, source of Vitamin C).
- Comparative claims: Comparison of energy/nutrient levels between similar products (e.g. lower fat, higher calcium).
- Function claim: Description of function of specific nutrients (e.g. calcium helps in bone formation).
For more information on Health Nutrition and Tips to Be Nutrition Savvy Shoppers – Read Food Labels, check out this link: https://www.nutritionmonthmalaysia.org.my/publications/he-al-vol-2-guide-to-healthy-eating-active-living/