How to Read Food Labels in the UK: A Consumer Guid

Almost all of the foods that we usually buy in the supermarket have nutritional facts printed on the side of its packaging. Some people might be too keen about this information and some people just choose to shrug their shoulders about it. But in all fairness, these nutritional facts located at the side of the packaging of our usual supermarket food preference play a big role on how much of the substances we take inside our body. Thus, knowing how to read these facts is an important aspect that we should be aware of.

The very basic abbreviations that we need to know when reading food labels are the letters ‘KJ’ and ‘kcal.’ These abbreviations stand for kilojoules and kilocalories, or just plainly calories. Along with these basic abbreviations, information about the protein, fat and carbohydrate content are being indicated. Sometimes, additional information is being incorporated in the fact list, making information on sodium, sugars and saturated fat very transparent. All the information on the food facts is per 100 grams of the serving of the food. Sometimes, the portion of the entire food pack is also being indicated. A summary of the side panel nutritional facts can also be seen on the front portion of the packaging, serving as a summary of the facts, intended to be printed on the front portion for easy glance and comparison.

The labels on the food bought in the supermarkets does not only provide the necessary nutritional information that people need. It can also provide information on how a certain food can fit into one’s daily diet. This information is called the reference intakes (RI). It tells the estimated amount of energy and certain nutrients necessary for a good diet.

The information in the food facts list are quite a blur for many for they only see nothing but numbers, numbers and more numbers. They see a lot of percentages but do not even know what the true meaning of these statistics are. It is important for anyone to know if sodium or sugar intake, for example, is within acceptable limits. More information can be found on many consumer websites and opinions can vary.

The food labels will always remain in important part of the packaging and changing legislation is going to increase that importance. For more information on food labelling solutions from LabelService please click here.