Reading snacks labels

Posted by aayush arora on

We are all inclined towards picking the ‘low fat’ or ‘low calorie’ snacks over regular ones while grocery shopping. But is your favourite snack really healthy or just a marketing gimmick? Well, we are not here to sound like conspiracy theorists, but to actually help you choose better, the next time you go shopping.

We have undoubtedly seen and read the little boxes behind packaged food items before, but the big words and numbers can be intimidating sometimes and lead to an information overload. So, let’s learn how to decipher them.

These little boxes aka the nutrition labels tell you about the nutrition profile of the food item. Just like before buying a product, you check the price tag to see if it fits your budget, the nutrition label will tell you if it fits your calorie budget (equally important, if not more).

First thing to check is the serving size. This is extremely important, as it is a common misconception that the nutrition facts stated are for the entire product quantity, when in reality, it is stated for 1 serving size and the product may be, in fact, more than 1 serving size.

Case in point- the nutrition label of our BRB Popped Potato Chips- Pasta Cheese flavour reads ‘2 servings per container’ and the nutrition info given is for 1 serving of 25g.

The key numbers to look out for are total quantity of macronutrients- Fats, Carbs, Proteins as well as Sodium. But what is the yardstick of comparison?

For an average person who intakes 2,000 calories a day, one packet of BRB Popped Potato chips (with 111 calories) only makes up for 6% of their recommended daily allowance!

When a consumer is reading a label, it is a common misconception that the percentage of protein written (say 3%) means that 3% of the contents of that packet is protein. What it really means is that the packet is fulfilling 3% of your daily recommended protein allowance.

In context of the label above, it might be safe to say that the low number of calories and zero cholesterol can allow BRB to be a part of your healthy diet and lifestyle :)  

Let’s go over the ingredient list now. Ingredients are always listed in descending order. So, the most prominent is at the beginning and the least prominent is at the last. A lot of potato chips list rice flour, corn flour etc. as their pivotal ingredients. Here’s some food for thought- Are they really eligible to be called potato chips then?

By spending a little more time reading, not only can you make an informed decision but also say BRB to not so healthy products with false ‘low fat’ taglines.

Happy Shopping!

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