The truth behind healthy eating labels

Over the last 10 years the rapid increase in media has played a vital role in showing us factors of a healthy lifestyle. With many food manufacturers understanding our desire to become a healthier individual, their packing terminology has now changed to reflect this.

Manufacturers work hard to ensure their healthy labels attract the eye of the fitness crazed consumer. We are increasingly shown these phrases of ‘low in salt’, ‘low in fat’ and ‘sugar free’ to name but a few. They seem like they are promoting a healthy meal, but what do they actually mean?

Light, low, reduced or high- There are no specific guidelines on these terms, however they should not be misleading to the customer and should clearly indicate what the meal may be low, reduced or high in for example.

Reduced or low fat- This means that the product must have a minimum of 25% less fat compared to a previous or existing product alike. However, the calories are often maintained by adding other ingredients into the meal.

Low calorie-  This means that the product must have fewer calories than a previous or existing product, just like with the low-fat aspect. However, there is no set guidelines on how much lower the calorie intake must be. Meaning manufacturers could create a product 1 calorie less and be able to add this food label.

Sugar free- This means that during production the product has had no sugars added to, nevertheless it almost always means there has still been an artificial sweetener added for the taste instead.

Be sure to read the products carefully before just seeing these labels and purchasing!

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