Finding the Fat and Fibre in Food
Food labels are extremely useful in determining the amount and type of fat and fibre in a particular product. The three main sources of valuable information are:
· The ingredient list
· The nutrition information panel
· Claims such as "low fat" or "source of fibre"
Ingredient lists are mandatory on foods and lists the contents by weight in descending order. Therefore, the first ingredient on the list is the one in the greatest amount. These lists are also useful in finding certain types of fat not found in the nutrition information panel. For example, "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" indicates that trans fatty acids are present in the product.
In addition to other nutrients, the nutrition information panel gives specific information on the amount fat and fibre in one food serving. It is important to take note of the serving size for which the nutrition information is based. If you eat more or less of the specified serving size, the amounts of each nutrient will have to be adjusted accordingly. Dietary fat may also be broken down into saturates, monounsaturates, polyunsaturates, and cholesterol. Dietary fibre is usually listed under carbohydrates along with sugars and starch, but it is not broken down into soluble and insoluble fibre on labels.
Nutrition claims on foods can also provide helpful hints on the amount of fat, fibre, or calories (kcal) in a food. Some examples include:
· Calorie reduced = 50% fewer calories than the regular product
· Low calorie = less than 15 calories per serving
· Low fat = less than 3 grams of fat per serving
· Low in saturated fat = at most 2 grams of saturated fat per serving
· Source of fibre = at least 2 grams of fibre per serving
· High source of fibre = at least 4 grams of fibre per serving
· Very high source of fibre = at least 6 grams of fibre per serving