Reading a Nutrition Label!

I want to go through a nutrition label with you all, because I find most people misinterpret a label! So I will break it all completely down.

This is probably some type of yoghurt you can buy at the supermarket.


Serving Size/Servings per packet – Make sure you check how many servings are per packet! Most people do not realise that there are more than 1 serving per packet/drink. E.g. Fruit juice/flavoured milk typically have more than one serve per bottle! Check you aren’t consuming 2-3 times more calories than what you should be!

Energy – is the amount of calories or kilojoules the product provides. Pretty simple, the higher the number the more kilojoules you consume!

Protein – this one is pretty simple in comparison to carbohydrates and fat. It will tell you how many grams of protein it is has the product. However, just because some products have protein in it, does not mean the body will readily absorb or utilise it. The better the quality of the protein, the more readily it is taken up by the body to help maintain or increase muscle mass. Better quality proteins come from animal products such as fish, red meats, white meats, dairy products like milk, yoghurt, cheese, eggs, nuts and seeds.

Fat: This is where reading a nutrition label can become tricky. Manufacturers do not have to tell the consumer what type of fats are in the products. For example, you can see there is a total fat section and a saturated. Some products also have trans fats written also. Total fat is the amount of fat in the whole serve. If you look underneath it you can see 4.5g is saturated (which is your bad fat). So where does the other 2.9g come from??? These are unsaturated fats (good fats)!!

Carbohydrate Total: Again the same as the fat – carbohydrate include sugars (both added and natural) and fibre. Unfortunately, labels do not have to provide how much of the sugars are added or natural. Fibre is typically included on a nutrition panel, however, this product does not have any in it.

If you look at the ingredients list, you can see that there is milk, different kinds of fruit and added sugar in the product. Therefore not all of the 18.6g is added sugar. There could be 10-12g of natural sugar (fruit and milk) and 6-8g of added sugar. Which is about a teaspoon! So really not that much in the whole scheme of things! Some people can become confused and add both the 18.6g and 18.6 together and say ooh there is 37g of sugar in this product! They are completely wrong! Remember not all sugar is bad or added. Make sure you read the label properly! A large banana has roughly 20-25g of carbohydrate in it (both fibre and natural sugar), which is more than this product! Does this mean bananas are bad! No, not at all!!

Sodium is your salt content. Personally I find going over 100-200mg of sodium per serve is probably a little excessive, especially if it is something you have at every meal. The recommendation for daily consumption is around 2400mg.  Don’t forget this is sodium in fresh fruit and vegetables as well! So you will need to take that into consideration. Generally I find most people are ok unless they eat a lot of highly refined processed foods.

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