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What Should We Pay Attention to Food Labels?

A lot of information is stated on the packaging of food and drinks. In addition to the fact that this information is not immediately clear to everyone, there are sometimes so-called empty slogans. As a consumer, what should you pay attention to?

According to the Food Information Act, every food product must be labeled with certain information. Consider, for example, the origin of the product and aspects such as health, safety and the environment. With this information, consumers must be able to make a good decision when purchasing. Although the information is often neatly printed on the back of packages, this is not always understood.

What Should We Pay Attention to Food Labels?

Names for sugar
For example, if a consumer wants to know whether and how much sugar there is in a product, this is not always clear. Producers do not always use the term ‘sugar’ if it is one of the ingredients.

Nutritional value
There is also another way to see if there is sugar in a product. In addition to the list of ingredients, there is always a table with the nutritional value on products. It mentions the amounts of energy and nutrients contained in the product. Under ‘Carbohydrates’ it says ‘of which sugars’. If there is no sugar in it, it says ‘0 g (ram)’.

Per portion
Other parts of the table are the number of calories, the amount of fat, proteins, salt and possibly fiber. They must always be stated per 100 grams. Often the product also states how many nutritional values ​​one portion contains, for example when it comes to crackers or other already divided or cut products.

Empty slogans
Not everyone feels like it or takes the time to look at the label every time. Manufacturers know that too and they respond to it. Kassa already paid attention to the product Vitamin Water in 2010, which turns out to be not as healthy as the producer would have you believe. The Nutrition Center therefore labels the ’empty slogans’ on the front of packaging as one of the six pitfalls that consumers can fall into .

Vitamins
Where products often say ‘Rich in vitamin C’ on the front of products, it is important to check whether the product actually contains a lot of this vitamin. It is useful to compare products with each other. This can be done in an easy way with the app ‘ Do I choose healthy? ‘of the Nutrition Center.

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E numbers
An element that can also be mentioned on the label are the E numbers. If a product contains colorants, flavor enhancers or preservatives, it will either be listed separately or be assigned an E number – for example E330 (citric acid). If the latter is the case, you can assume that the substances have been checked for harmfulness to health. Via this tool you can see which E numbers represent which products.

Why is reading food labels so important?