Reading Food Labels - Know your stuff!
A big step in making healthier choices is knowing what a healthy choice is!
Knowing what you're looking for when you're trying to make healthy swaps is half the battle! Figuring out what all those numbers mean on food labels on the back and how to use them to compare two options is not always easy.
Best news? Once you know what you're hunting for, you'll never look back!
Let me tell you a story...this morning as I was running out the door to a meeting and unable to fill up my water bottle at home (rusty pipes - whole other story lol!!), I ran in to my local cafe. As usual, I dodged all the soft drink, juice and Powerades and grabbed the only water based (so I thought) option available, a 'Lemon Fix Pump'.
"How bad could it be?" I thought as I turned it over to quickly check the nutrition panel as I was walking to the counter. I nearly died. How on Earth was there 17g (that's 4.2 teaspoons!!) of SUGAR in a lemon flavoured water???
So glad I had a quick check, otherwise I would have downed that bottle (and that unnecessary 17g of sugar) without even realising!!
Now, 4 teaspoons of sugar may not seem like that much...but what if I really loved this Pump flavour and presumed it was a healthy option because I thought it was just water (like I did before I read the back!) and had 4 in a day. That's 68 grams of sugar! Without even realising, thinking I was making a healthy choice!
Checking that label was a big reminder for me about how important it is to keep an eye on what's in our food and drinks.
Those little swaps really do make huge differences over time!
So, how do you read a food label to make healthy swaps?
The legends at VACCHO have developed this clever little wallet sized card that helps us to check the sugar, fat and salt in foods and drinks so that we know if it's a green, yellow or red choice. Check them out!
Tip: When comparing two foods, use the 'per 100g' column as 'serving sizes' vary for every food.
We dare you to give it a go in your pantry at home and see what's really hiding in some of our favourite foods!
Let us know how you go, we'd love to hear from you.
Go on, swap it up!