• India’s most comprehensive parenting portal, with excerpts from ParentEdge – India’s leading parenting magazine

Learn to Read Nutrition Labels

To arrive at the number of calories from fat multiply the amount of fat, given in grams by 9. For carbohydrates and proteins, multiply by 4

Learn to Read Nutrition LabelsOf course, one can argue that since the body does not differentiate between fruit sugar and added sugar, the calories consumed from both sources is the same. However, the100% fruit juice usually contain additional nutrients from the fruit. But when 25-30 g in the second drink is from just added sugar, it is as good as giving your child four teaspoons of plain sugar in flavoured water!

So you are better off choosing the 100% juice; although we will recommend taking the trouble tomake fresh juices at home, where you can control the amount of fruit, sugar and water you add.

  • Fat: When it comes to fat and health, both quantity and quality (type) matters. Fats can be either good or bad. Good fats, called PUFA (poly unsaturated fatty acids) or MUFA (mono unsaturated fatty acids), are those that do not impact our cholesterol levels. The bad fats are the saturated fats and trans fats which increase the level of bad cholesterol in our body. Of the two, trans fat is worse as it not only increases bad cholesterol but also decreases the good cholesterol. In India, companies are not required to provide a break-up of the fat in foods unless they make claims about the fat content of the ood, like ‘low fat,’ ‘low cholesterol’ or ‘transfat free product.’ As a result, one can never besure of the type of fat used in the packaged food. One way to find out is to look closely at the ingredient list and look for words like‘partially hydrogenated fat’ and ‘shortening,’ as these products have a higher proportion ofbad fats. Products typically high in saturated fat or trans fat are cookies, cream biscuits, cakes and other bakery products. Learn to Read Nutrition Labels.

Through this article, we have attempted to give you some insights into the world of nutrition labels and how to interpret them. There can be wide variation in the information given, as the laws in our country are still fairly lenient compared to other countries where packaged foods have had a longer history and a wider spread. But, the next time you make a visit to the neighbourhood supermarket, do take a look at the label before throwing the packet into your cart! In fact, think of it as an interaction with a salesman – would you buy a product if you were not convinced of the sales pitch? Similarly, if you are not happy with the information given, or after doing the maths realise this should not be in your basket, put it right back on the shelf and do your family’s well being and health a favour!


  • Total Score 0%
User rating: 0.00% ( 0
votes )