Understanding Food Labels

Nutrition labels can be found on the packets of all food and drink products in the UK and can help you choose between products. It also helps you to check that the foods you are eating are not high in fat, salt and added sugars. Most food packaging contains two labels, the first on the back of the packet contains the nutritional information for the product such as the one below. 

Nutrition Information

This is the nutritional information for a Mars Bar. As you can see it is fairly high in fat, sugar, saturated fat and salt. 

Servings per package: 1
Serving Size: 53g

Average Quantities

Per Serving

%DI per Serve

Per 100g

Energy

1020KJ

12.00%

1900KJ

Protein

1.9g

4.00%

3.6g

Fat - Total

9.1g

13.00%

16.9g

        - Saturated

4.4g

18.00%

8.2g

Carbohydrate

37.6g

12.00%

70.3g

         - Sugars

30.6g

34.00%

57.1g

Sodium

76mg

3.00%

143mg

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do I know if my food is high in fat, saturated fat, sugar or salt?

 

High

Low

Total Fat

More than 17.5g of fat per 100g

3g of fat or less per 100g

Saturated fat

More than 5g of saturated fat per 100g 

1.5g of saturated fat or less per 100g 

Sugars

More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g 

5g of total sugars or less per 100g

Salt

More than 1.5g of salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium) 

0.3g of salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium)

 

 

 

 



Traffic Light - Food Labelling

The other type of food labelling can be found on the front and often looks something like this:

Food Label

This is a quick guide to the nutrition in the product you are buying. If the category is red it means the product is high in fat, sugar or salt and should only been eaten on an occasional basis. The orange category means it is OK but you should be aiming to eat food which is mostly in the green category as this is the healthy choice.