People look at food label for different reasons. However, many consumers would like to know about nutrition facts to follow a healthy life. Hence, nutritional labeling of food has become very important. It is not simply because the consumer has right to know what is in food, but also helps them in making proper dietary choices. Now, here you will get to know that what information is present on food labels and how to understand it.
Introduction to Nutritional labeling
It refers to the standardized presentation of nutrient content of the food. It is based upon the specific laws and guidelines. The Food Safety and Standard Act of India ( FSSAI) give these laws and guidelines.
Most of nutrition labels are present on the back or side of packet. However, many food manufacturers also place them in front side. These food panels helps you to choose the right food product. Also, it helps in comparing nutrition facts of different food items.
The label present on back or front side of packet includes list of nutrients.
Energy or calories usually expressed as kilojoules or Kilocalories
Percentage of proteins
Saturated, unsaturated and trans fats
Percentage of cholesterol
Salt content (sodium)
Some vitamins (especially Vitamin A and Vitamin C) and minerals (especially calcium and iron)
Important – All the nutrient information provided to you is in per 100 gm or sometimes per portion.
Some nutrition labels also provide information about reference intake (information on how a particular food or drink product fits in your daily recommended diet).
Also, some labels in front side use red, amber and green color coding.
It tells you about the food has high, low or medium amount of fat, salt and sugar.
Red color indicates high value, amber medium and green low.
How to understand Nutrition facts or Food panel?
First of all, to understand the food panel carefully look at nutrition table present on the packet. The information present in the upper section can vary from food product. It contains product-specific information like serving size, calories, and nutrient information. Serving size is the portion or amount of food that is usually served. The footnote is present in the bottom part with daily values which are based on 2000 and 2500 calorie diet. Dietary information of important nutrients including fats, sodium and fibre is given by footnote. The footnote does not change from product to product.
Here is the sample label from which you can understand better.
There are some guidelines which helps in nutritional analysis of food per 100 g.
High – more than 17.5 g
Low – 3 g or less
High – more than 5 g
Low – 1.5 g or less
High – more than 22.5 g
Low – 5 g or less
High – more than 1.5 g
Low – 0.3 g or less
As a result, if you are trying to cut down on saturated fat, eat fewer foods that have more than 5 g of saturated fat per 100 g.
Above all nutritional facts and analysis helps you in doing smart and healthy shopping of foods and drinks. It also helps people to identify the component to which they are allergic (food sensitivity). So, let’s go, buy some nutritious food.
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