Zen and the art of label reading

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Oh dear, I hear you thinking,  “I am going to have to set aside an extra few hours just to get round the supermarket” Not so! Remember, the most healthy foods don’t generally come in a packet. However, there are some things to be mindful of when we are buying packaged goods. Read on…

Energy: this is at the very top and will tell you how many kilojules (or calories there are in said item). It’s important to remember that not all calories are created equal BUT a rule of thumb would be the higher the energy, the more laps of the oval you will need to run tomorrow.

Fat: might be called shortening, lard, beef fat, dripping, coconut oil, mayonnaise, hydrogenated oils (YUK!) or mono/di/triglycerides. Again, not all fat is created equal. Avoid transfats (usually found in any form of hydrogenated oils, margarines and super heated foods).

Carbohydrates: particularly the sugar underneath- 4gm = approximately 1 teaspoon. For example, fruit juice contains a large amount of sugar (and no fibre) and should not be given to children.

Sugar:  comes in many guises – approximately 56 names for  it. For example anything ending in -ose (fructose, maltose), corn syrup, disaccharide, sorbitol, xylitol. You will find this on the ingredients list – not the NIP.

Fibre: high fibre = healthy bowels. Women need about 25gms per day. Men about 38gms per day. The average Australian adult currently gets about 15gms!

Image courtesy of artofdharma.com