Eat Smart

A closer in­spec­tion of food la­bels can un­cover hid­den sug­ars and set you on the path to a health­ier diet.

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Equal Special -

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.

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