by in Health Tips March 16, 2018

As I have mentioned before, the INGREDIENTS LIST on packaged food is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to read before buying the product.

I wanted to give you some examples of what to look for if you are looking to see how much sugar, salt or fat is in a product. Often a product can have more than one component of these ingredients, for example a biscuit might contain sugar, golden syrup and concentrated fruit juice, which means it has three forms of sugar in it.

Here are a few of the most common forms on packaging.

Sugar can be listed as: – sugar, cane sugar, fructose (fruit sugar), glucose, dextrose (another name for glucose), honey, invert sugar, golden syrup, treacle, agave nectar, high fructose corn syrup to name just a few. There are over 40 different names for added sugars!!! Also, concentrated fruit juice, another version of added sugar, can be added to food without it being included in the sugar section of the Nutrition Information Panel.

(One very popular breakfast cereal I looked at had 4 different types of added sugar, being 2nd, 4th, 5th and 9th on the ingredients list – 26.7%)

Fat can be listed as: – beef fat, butter, shortening, coconut oil, palm oil, cream, sour cream, dripping, lard, mayonnaise, olive oil, vegetable oil (or variations of such as sunflower oil) hydrogenated oil, monosaturated oil.

Salt can be listed as: – seasoning, flavoured salt (chicken, garlic, onion, celery salts) beef extract, yeast extract, rock salt, sea salt, stock concentrate.

Common allergens also need to be listed on a package, either in bold on the list of ingredients or on a separate list underneath it. Common allergens are cows milk, soy beans, peanuts, tree nuts (such as almonds, pinenuts cashews etc), fish, shellfish, gluten, eggs and sesame.

Dairy can be listed as: – milk, cream, yoghurt, non fat milk solids, milk solids, whey, casein, sodium caseinate, lactose, milk powder.

Egg can be listed as: – powdered egg, egg lecithin, albumin, ovalbumin, globulin, silica albuminate, vitelin. Egg is often used for binding foods so it can be in a lot of packaged food.

Soy can be listed as: – textured vegetable protein (TVP), hydrolysed vegetable protein (HVP), soy lecithin, soy protein, soy sauce, tamari, shoyu, miso, soybean paste.

Gluten can be listed as: – wheat, spelt, farro, kamut, semolina, durum, couscous, bulgar, wheat germ, cornflour, rye, kibbled rye, barley (and variations of – barley flour), oats (and variations of – oat flour, oatmeal, rolled oats).

The packaging below is a good example of an ingredients list showing allergens in bold as well as listing them underneath.

However, have a look at these Mother Earth (sounds healthy) Baked (sounds healthy) Oaty (sounds healthy) Slices and see how often sugar comes up in the ingredients in various forms. I counted sugar, or a variation of it, 7 times !!