Decoding food labels

Learning how to read food labels can help you decide which foods are the healthiest options for you and your family.

Nutrition information panel (NIP)

In Australia, most packaged foods must display a nutrition information panel. The panel shows the amount of nutrients ‘per serving size’ and ‘per 100g’. As the serving size on the package may differ for similar products and may be different from what you actually eat, it is best to use the ‘per 100g’ column to compare products.

To decide if a product is a healthy choice, use the following guide:

Guide to decoding food labels

Ingredients list

Ingredient lists can also help you decide if a product is healthy. Ingredients are listed from most to least amounts, so the main ingredients are listed first. Look out for added sugar and salt.

These can appear on the ingredients list under many different names. All types of sugar and salt are similar nutritionally and will be used in the body in a similar way. Don’t be fooled by the marketing claims!

Other names for sugar and salt:

Alternate names for sugar and salt