Food Labels

Author: Sarah Marshall H.BSc CPT
Nutrition Claims
Nutrition Claims are usually big, bold statements that can tell you at a glance the key nutrition features of a food. When using the nutrition claims to guide your food choices, evaluate the entire product ? the claims do not tell the whole story!

Food Labels Ingredients

An ingredient list must be presented on prepackaged products. Ingredients are listed in descending order of proportion by weight. This means that the ingredients closest to the end of the list are present in the smallest quantities. The ingredient list can help you choose more nutrtiious products. The ingredient list may also indicate the sources of salt/sodium and the types of fat found in the product.


When reading the ingredient list you may see
he word ?hydrogenated?. The hydrogenation process involves addition of hydrogen to liquid oil, thereby making it firmer. Partial Hydrogenation makes the fat firmer by forming saturates and trans fatty acids. Both of these fats have been shown to raise blood cholesterol levels, and increase the risk of heart disease.


These oils may alos appear on the ingredient list. These oils naturally contain higer levels of saturated fats. The presence of these ingredients should not be a cuase for alarm. When comparing similar products, look to see where the fat is placed on the ingredient list. Whether saturated fat comes from natural fat such as palm or palm kernel oils, or a manufactured one such as hydrogenated fat, look for a blalance of fats on the Nutrition Label.