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Written by Navneet Kaur, M.Sc. Nutrition & Dietetics


Navigating Food Labels: How to Make Informed Choices

Understanding food labels empowers consumers to make informed choices. Navigate the complexities of food labels to prioritize health and well-being. 


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Food labels provide vital information about the nutritional content, ingredients, and allergens in packaged foods. They help consumers make healthier choices and manage dietary needs. 

1.  Importance of Food Labels 

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Pay attention to serving sizes listed on food labels. They dictate the amount of food the nutritional information applies to, ensuring accurate dietary intake assessment. 

2. Serving Size 

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Review the nutritional information panel for details on calories, macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats), vitamins, minerals, and % Daily Value (%DV) to make informed dietary decisions. 

3. Nutritional Information 

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Examine the ingredient list to identify what the product contains. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, allowing consumers to assess the quality of the food 

4. Ingredient List 

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Be cautious of added sugars, which may hide under various names like high-fructose corn syrup or cane sugar. Limiting added sugars supports overall health and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. 

5. Added Sugars 

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Avoid foods with artificial additives like preservatives, colourings, and flavourings whenever possible. Opt for products with natural ingredients for a healthier diet. 

6. Artificial Additives 

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Check for allergen information to avoid potential allergic reactions. Food labels must clearly list common allergens like nuts, dairy, soy, wheat, and shellfish. 

7. Allergen Information 

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Evaluate health claims on food labels critically. Some claims may be misleading or exaggerated, so verify them with the nutritional information and ingredient list. 

8. Health Claims 

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Navigating food labels equips consumers with the knowledge to make healthier choices and manage dietary preferences. By understanding food labels, individuals can prioritize nutrition, wellness, and overall health. 


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