A closer inspection of food labels can uncover hidden sugars and set you on the path to a healthier diet.
Reading food labels can help you make healthier choices. Look out for five things when inspecting them. First, note the serving size, and total calories for each serving so you know how much you can eat. Then, look out for nutrients to limit, like fat, cholesterol, sodium and carbohydrate, and the nutrients to maximise like fibre, protein and vitamins. Finally, note the “% Daily Value”, which shows the recommended daily serving percentage of each of its nutrients.
Eat more healthily by choosing items where the unhealthy nutrients are at five per cent or less of their “% Daily Value”. Go for those where the healthier nutrients are at 20 per cent or more of their “% Daily Value”.
Food labels can also help you discover hidden dangers, when they reveal higher-than-expected doses of unhealthy nutrients. Sugar, which goes by names such as dextrose, fructose and maltodextrins, is one ingredient to be mindful of. Processed food and snacks typically contain high levels of sugar, so look out for them and ensure that you do not exceed your daily intake.
One way to avoid the hassle of constantly monitoring labels is simply to consume fruits, vegetables and dairy products, which contain natural sugars that are beneficial to health. Another way is to use an all-natural sweetener like Equal Stevia which is derived from stevia leaf extracts. It has been the most commonly used alternative to natural sugar in countries such as Japan since the 1970s.
One stick or tablet provides as much sweetness as one teaspoon of sugar. Yet, it contains only 0.4 calories a serving, or 98 per cent less calories than regular sugar.