How to read and understand the nutrition information panel

The nutrition information panel on the side or back of a food’s packaging can tell you more about what’s in that food than anything you read on the front.

At first glance, these columns of numbers can seem hard to decipher, but making sense of them is easier than you think: Run your eye down the Per 100g column. You need to think of 100g as 100 per cent, so if you spy 80g of fat in the Per 100g column, that food is 80 per cent fat, which means it’s a high-fat food (such as butter or mayo).


✪ Read the Per 100g column of different brands to compare them. Doing this gives you a more accurate comparison than the Per Serve column alone can, because serving sizes can vary among brands. Consider which product is lower in sodium, sugar and saturated fat per 100g, and whether it’s higher in fibre, too.

✪ Scan the Per Serve column to check the amount of fat or number of kilojoules in one serve. And when you get home, check that the recommended serving size matches what you actually serve as a portion.
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