08 Jan Children’s Nutritionist – Checking Labels For Sugar Content
You may think you are buying ‘healthy’ food when you see catch phrases on packaged food such as;
- ✅ Low fat
- ✅ Low calorie
- ✅ All natural
- ✅ Energy boosting
- ✅ Sugar-free
- ✅ Good source of fibre
- ✅ Multi-grain
- ✅ Antioxidants
- ✅ No trans-fats
- ✅ Sports drink
However, be aware when reading these cleverly marketed slogans because the information is often misleading.
Learning the ground rules to understand the information on nutritional panels is the only way to decipher what is in the product and this can also be confusing. The best approach is to compare similar brands alternatives to select the healthiest choice for your child.
The only way to match up the cross-section of competing food varieties is to compare the information in the right hand column, e.g. “Per 100gm/100ml serve”.
4 grams of sugar is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of sugar
Sugar is the amount of simple sugars present in the food such as fructose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, lactose and glucose. Generally speaking, the higher the percentage of sugar to total carbohydrates, the less healthy the food will be. Aim for less than 10mg of sugar per 100mg serving. And remember the easy sugar equation 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon.
That said, as you know, all sugars aren’t equal so you need to work out the source of sugar e.g. if it’s from a natural healthy source such as a piece of fresh fruit, then a higher figure may be permissible.