Nutrition Panel

Where is the nutrition information panel?

Pick up any product and you will see a table on the back (sometimes on the side or bottom) that tells you exactly what nutrients are in it.

What should I look for on a nutrition panel?

What the numbers mean for you will depend on what your shopping and health goals are. Some people specifically look for foods lower in sodium; others may be looking out for plenty of protein.

If you want to understand the overall nature of a food, look at the per 100g values. This is the same as showing the percentage – e.g. 15g per 100 g protein means that food is 15% protein. 

However, the per-serve amount will show you how much you are actually eating and can be useful when comparing one food with another similar food. 

A serve of food is:

  • A good source of protein = 10g protein/serve (or more)
  • Low in saturated fat = 5g saturated fat/100g (or less)
  • Low in sodium (salt) = 120mg sodium/100g (or less)
  • Low in sugar = 5g sugar/100g (or less)

The specifics – for the numbers people among us. 

Serving size:

Recommended amount to eat; the label will also tell you how many servings are in the pack.

Energy:

How much fuel the food provides. You need enough of this throughout the day to keep you going, but not too much; the extra gets stored as body fat.

Protein:

Important for growth and development and a number of our body’s functions.

Fat:

We need fat, but not too much. Fat is higher in energy than protein and carbohydrate.

Saturated fat:

Choose foods low in saturated fats.

Carbohydrate:

Carbohydrates are important for energy. Choose products that are made from wholegrains: oats, wheat, barley etc.

Sugar:

Sugar is a type of carbohydrate and many foods naturally contain sugars such as dairy and fruits. Try to minimise foods with high amounts of added sugar (biscuits, sweets, some drinks and cereals). To convert the grams of sugar to teaspoons divide by four.

Dietary fibre:

Fibre is not always shown on the label. Fibre is found in fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and cereals

Sodium:

Aim for less than 2300mg per day.