According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research people are easily fooled by food labels, and will eat more if they believe it is a small portion. Size labels used by food and drink manufacturers (small, medium and large) can have a huge impact on how much of a product a consumer buys and consumes. When people consume a large food item that is labeled “small” they feel less guilty and can lead to over-consumption
Be a smart consumer and read food labels carefully. Here are some things you should look out for when reading ingredient and nutrition panels on foods.
Sugar content: Remember that 1 tsp of sugar equals 4g, so choose products that contain less than 10g of sugar per 100g. Avoid products with high fructose corn syrup.
Sodium content: Choose products that contain 120mg or less sodium per 100g.
Trans-fats: Stear away from processed foods that contain vegetable oil or hydrogenated oils, as they will contain harmful trans-fats.
Saturated fats: Choose low-fat products such as dairy foods that are lower in saturated fats. Try to limit saturated fats to around 10% of your diet.
Artificial additives: If you don’t recognize it, it’s probably artificial. Choose foods that contain natural, healthy ingredients, free from chemical additives. Avoid foods with artificial sweeteners, found in diet products.