The Indian food industry is regulated to try and ensure that food is legally safe for us to eat. However, we don’t just eat in the moment, we eat every day, many times a day, and make choices every time that impacts our health and that of our children.
The next time you are out buying packaged food, here are some things that you might want to consider.
There can be lots of different ingredients in the foods available for us to buy.
It’s important to ask the question, “What’s this for and do I want to eat it?”
Remember to check the ingredients list. Watch out for things you do not recognise and find out what they are for. If the product label is not telling you everything you need to know, choose something else.
Natural, low fat, low sugar, nature identical flavouring and many others – do we really understand what these claims mean? Front of pack claims can have a real impact on what we buy. We need to be careful though – it is not all what it seems. If a food that’s high in fat in its raw state claims low fat, ask yourself, how is that possible? Is a strawberry milk really “natural” if it has flavourings and colouring?
Do you want to eat a snack full of artificial sweeteners to make it “low sugar”?
Often without a calculator, are we sure we know what we’re eating? What is a portion if it is not the whole pack? Sodium is salt and sugar is sugar, but do we know if it is added or from the ingredients? How useful is it to know the RDA of our cereal if it is based on an adult woman and not the little one who’s eating it?
There are lots of labels on a pack but the most important are the ingredients and nutrition on the back of the pack.
Caveat Emptor. Let the buyer beware.