Food Labels…What are they? What do they mean?

Food labels are on the majority of pre-packed food. The food label is normally in a table on the back or side of the packaging and contains nutritional information about per item of food or per 100g. The label contains information on energy, fats, saturates (saturated fat), carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt.

When comparing 2 items of food many people make the mistake of looking what the nutritional content is per item of food rather than per 100g. When looking at the content per 100g it becomes easier to compare similar items of foods. The comparisons will help you to consider your nutritional intake and help you to have a more balanced diet.


The NHS provide these guidelines (per 100g) to help you find out if food is high or low in fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar;

Total fat High: more than 17.5g of fat per 100g Low: 3g of fat or less per 100g

Saturated fat High: more than 5g of saturated fat per 100g Low: 1.5g of saturated fat or less per 100g

Sugars High: more than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g Low: 5g of total sugars or less per 100g

Salt High: more than 1.5g of salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium) Low: 0.3g of salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium)

‘For example, if you are trying to cut down on saturated fat, limit your consumption of foods that have more than 5g of saturated fat per 100g.


The more items of food in the low category, the healthier a choice it is. Try and cut down on the items of food in the high category and consume more in the low category.

Click here more information about understanding food labels for a balanced diet