Most pre-packed foods have a nutrition label on the back or side of the packaging. These labels usually include information on energy (calories), protein, carbohydrate and fat. These labels are usually displayed as an extensive table/grid with lots of information.
Most of the big supermarkets and many food manufacturers also display nutritional information on the front of pre-packed food. This is very useful when you want to compare different food products at a glance. The information is presented as more of a quick guide.
Some food manufacturers are adopting a method of colour coding nutritional information using a traffic light system. If you buy a food that has all or mostly green lights, you know straight away that it's a healthier choice. An amber light means neither high nor low, so you can eat foods with all or mostly amber lights most of the time. But a red light means the food is high in fat, saturated fat, salt or sugars and these are the foods we should cut down on. Try to eat these foods less often and in small amounts.
If you're buying ready meals, check to see if there's a nutrition label on the front of the pack, and then see how your choices stack up when it comes to the number of calories and the amount of fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt.
Nutrition labels can also provide information on how a particular food or drink product fits into your daily diet.They generally show how mcuh of each food you should consume based upon an individuals guidline daily calorie allowance.
An average man needs around 2,500 calories a day to maintain his weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000 calories a day. These values can vary depending on age and levels of physical activity, among other factors.
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