Food Labels Explained

by | Mar 3, 2021 | Food & Diet | 0 comments

The majority of Irish consumers read food labels to help them make healthy food choices and would like to see nutrition labels on more products. The following guidance is intended to make it easier for you to use labels to make quick, informed food choices that contribute to a healthy diet.

Ingredient listing

A listing of the product’s ingredients is required by law. This listing tells you what was used to make the product. The ingredients are listed in descending order, so the ingredient that was used in the greatest amount will appear first on the list, all the way through to the last ingredient which was used least in the product.

Nutrition labels

Nutritional labelling is any information appearing on food labels relating to the amount of calories (energy) and key nutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates, sugar etc.) contained in the product. Nutrition labels can help you make healthy food choices as you can compare the nutrition information on similar products. Guideline Daily Amount is nutrition information that is presented on the front of pack.

The three traffic light colours

The Croí Healthy Shopping Card uses the traffic light colours to help you make better food choices. This card can help you get the balance right by helping you choose between products by comparing the fat, sugar and salt values. It is important that you look at the ‘per 100g’ column on the food label when using this card. Making the healthy food choice isn’t always easy, but the Croí Healthy Shopping card should make healthy shopping easier!

A green light indicates that the food is low in fat, sugar or salt. The more green lights, the healthier the choice and the more likely the food is to be a good option for everyday eating. If you want to make the healthy choice when you are shopping, go for more greens and ambers, and fewer reds.
An amber light means the food isn’t high or low in the nutrient, meaning that it is an acceptable food item to eat quite regularly. There may be an even healthier option in the shop, so keep looking!
A red light indicates the food is high in something we should be trying to cut down on. It’s fine to have these occasionally, or as a treat, but try to limit them.

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