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Can you trust what a food label tells you? Part Two

Can you trust what a food label tells you? Part Two | Mr Vitamins
In part two of this two part series Mr Vitamins helps us to understand what the Nutrition Panel really means! In part one of Can You Trust what a Food Label tells you?, we covered why you should ignore the health claims on your food and do your own checking as well as how to read an ingredient listing. And so on to the nutrition information panel itself. This is where manufacturers are required by law to tell you the exact breakdown of their food per serve and per 100gms.

What you need to know about food labels and nutrition panels

1.    Their serve is not always your serve.

Food Label Child's Easter Egg PhotoYou will see on food labels “servings per package” as well as “serving size” and what is crucial to be aware of is that what might seem to be to one serve to you might be multiple serves to the manufacturer. For instance, look at this Easter egg. It only weighs 165gm and most of us would eat it in one, maybe two goes. But if you look at the nutrition information panel, the manufacturers think that it contains 6.6 serves. Have they seen a kid eating an Easter egg? Only the very disciplined of any age would make this little chocolate egg last nearly 7 serves.

 2.    5 gms is one teaspoon of sugar

This is probably the most useful bit of information you can have when deciphering a label. Food Label Easter Egg PhotoNow still using the Easter egg as an example, each serving (the size of which has been decided by the manufacturer and not your sweet-toothed child) contains 15.3gms of sugar, which is about 3 teaspoons. That might seem reasonable for a chocolate treat until we combine our new found knowledge above that there are in fact 6.6 serves in this egg and realise that if we or our kids eat the whole thing in one sitting, it is in fact just over 20 teaspoons of sugar.20 teaspoons!!! It’s no wonder the manufactures have decided to try and slip past you that it’s meant to take a week to eat.

3.    Calculate the percentage

On the second column, the amounts are listed as per 100gm. Look at our favourite Easter egg and see that the sugar content is 61.3 gm per 100gm which means that it is 61.3 % sugar. That’s right, it’s two thirds sugar!


Your health is in your hands. Remember that food manufacturers want to develop food that makes you want to eat – and eat – it. Look at labels and work out what percentage of sugar the food is, and how many teaspoons of sugar it contains. Trust me, you’ll never look at food in the same way again.