Maximising Your Weight Loss Knowledge
Hi there weight loss friends & all,
Hope you are all having a fabulous Thursday, wherever you are! Just a quick crash course for you today on the subject of decoding food labels as when you are on a weight loss journey, understanding food labels is paramount to your success. You need to become a bit of a food detective really as the marketing and labelling can get confusing so…… for your first lesson my budding food detectives, please read on.
Check the Fat Content
1. The less saturated fat a product has the better it is for you. Products with less than 10 grams of saturated fat per 100 gms are your best choices. Checking the saturated fat, rather than the total fat content of a product ensures that some highly nutritious foods , like nuts, peanut butter and grain breads are not totally eliminated from your diet. These foods are good, but only in small quantities when you are on a weight loss diet.
Check the kilojoule count.
2. Adults usually burn between 6000 – 8000 kilojoules a day. This may vary depending upon your general activity levels, but for the sake of this general discussion it is a good starting point. So, now that you have this knowledge, a quick check of the food label in the energy per serve column will tell you what proportion of energy it contains. If you’re looking at a packet of chips and it provides more than 1000 kilojoules per serve, this could be 1/6 th of your total daily energy requirement. Snacks generally will be no more than 600 -1000 kilojoules and meals about 1500 – 2000 kilojoules.
Check the carbohydrates.
3. Looking at the total carbohydrate content per serve is a great way to see how much fuel the food offers. Even if something is quite low in fat, but is very high in carbohydrates, they possibly aren’t going to offer much nutritionally. Examples of these foods are biscuits, rice and rice dishes which sometimes contain up to 45 grams of total carbohydrates per serve. Compare this with the carbohydrate content of a slice of bread, which is generally about 15 grams and you see the difference. Aim for foods with between 20 – 30 grams of total carbs per serve to avoid a fuel overload.
Check the ingredients.
4. My general rule of thumb is – if it has fewer than 3 ingredients, I eat it , as fewer ingredients will mean it is closer to ‘natural’ than ‘processed’ . Also interesting to note is that ingredients are listed from those in the highest amounts to those in the lowest, so if the first couple of ingredients read flour and sugar and then maybe vegetabele oil, than it probably doesn’t offer much nutritionally. Steer clear !
Okay, so today was just a quick run down on some of the lesser understood aspects of food labelling. So next time you’re at the grocery store or supermarket, stop for awhile and have a read, before you drop that product into your trolley! Warning: this becomes a habit after awhile and yes, your shopping trip will take a little longer, but your food cupboard will be all the more healthier and nutritionally abundant for it!
Happy shopping friends….see you next time,
Mon ( )