A 2016 South African study found that just over 1 in 3 consumers frequently or always read the nutrition information on a food label. One of the main reasons for not doing so is always buying the same type of product, a lack of interest, and time to study the information. For many health-conscious eaters, there is a lack of trust in food labelling information. FitChef is proud of our clean food labels, made from whole, fresh food. Understanding the food label of a product will help you to distinguish between unhealthy and healthier options.
Each product will have a serving size to indicate the portion that the meal should be eaten at a time. Controlling serving sizes is a surefire way to help manage total energy intake, and hence weight. This is why FitChef meals and snacks are perfectly portioned to help you reach your health and wellness goals.
List of Ingredients
All foods will have a list of ingredients indicated in descending order of weight. This list also includes all additives like preservatives, colourants, and flavourants. If a product has an ingredient that you are trying to cut down on, such as salt or sugar, for example, you will want to aim for the ingredient in question to be as low down on the list of as possible or find a more suitable alternative altogether. As a rule, the longer the list, the more processed the food. Try to choose food products with as few ingredients as possible, or at least with every day, real food ingredients, like fruit, vegetables, lean meat, dairy, and the like.
Any food can cause an allergy but despite the human diet being so diverse, there are nine major or common (potential) allergens in South Africa: egg, cow’s milk, soy, gluten, tree nuts, and peanuts. For this reason, these are the allergens that FitChef labels on all our meals so that allergen sufferers are resting assured as to what goes into their meals.
Table The typical nutrition information table will give you information on the energy and nutrients of the product, both per 100g (solid) or per 100ml (liquid), as well as per serving of the product. If comparing more than one product, you can use this to compare like for like. In this table, the amount of energy is stated in kilojoules (kJ), the standard unit of measurement of foods and drinks. We use kJ in South Africa whereas calories (kcal) are used internationally. To convert calories to kJ, simply multiply by 4.2 kJ. Next, the macronutrients protein, carbohydrate and fat are listed. The carbohydrate content includes total sugars, both the naturally occurring sugars like fruit and lactose from milk, as well as added sugar. The fat content will also have a breakdown of saturated fat.
Fibre and sodium are listed, and the manufacturer may also choose to add other info like nutrients specific to that product. For example, a yoghurt may wish to indicate calcium on the label. If there are claims made on a label, it is mandatory to have a nutritional table in order to justify that claim. Some common examples of claims on a label could be high protein (at least 10g/100g or 5g/100ml, as well as meet certain quality criteria.), low salt (≤120mg sodium/100g product or ≤300 mg salt/100g product), or high fibre (more than 6g of fibre per 100g).
The FitChef Difference at FitChef, we take great pride in our food labeling with the aim to empower South Africans to easily understand a label and make healthier choices to improve their nutrition, and ultimately their health.
Trust in our food and trust in our labels by signing up for a recurring order and live the FitChef lifestyle from today at www.fitchef.co.za.