How To Understand Food Labels For Healthy Eating

10th April 2018
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Do you get confused when trying to understand food labels?

Food labels help you to chose healthy food but understanding food labels can be a bit of a challenge to most people.

In this article, I will be discussing how to understand dates on food labels and how to understand the food traffic light system labelling

How To Understand Dates On Food Labels

Food manufacturers used different dates when labelling food understanding these dates will help you to reduce food wastage.

1. Used By Dates

Used by dates main purpose is for safety they are very important to take note of.

You can eat food or freeze it up to the used by date consuming food after used by date might not be safe for you.

If you have food that has passed the use by date, don’t eat it, cook it or freeze it

Food with used by dates should be stored the correct way otherwise it will be spoiled before its’ used by date.

Should you need to remove the original packaging when freezing food, make sure you label the food with food labels so that you won’t eat it after it’s used by date.

To avoid food waste make sure you are checking what’s in your fridge and freezer and eat food before it reaches it’s used by date.

2. Best Before Dates

Best before dates are all about quality than safety so use can eat food even after it’s best before date.

You may just need to taste the food to see if it’s good to eat.

For example, bananas might have overripe and are past their best before date but you can still eat them maybe you can put them in a smoothie or make a banana cake with them.

3. Sell By Dates

Sell by date are mainly used by the shop they have nothing to do with the shoppers.

They indicate how long food should be on sale or on the shop floor.

4. Display Until Dates

Just like sell by dates, display until dates are aimed for the shop and not shoppers.

How To Understand The Food Traffic Light System Labelling

When the food light system labelling was introduced we all thought it was going to be easy to shop for healthy food.

Unfortunately, not everyone is incorporation this traffic system on their products which make it difficult when trying to buy healthy options.

The colours of the food traffic light system are designed to work just like the colours of the trafic lights in the roads which should make them easy to understand.

Food labels are designed to highlight the number of sugars, fats, saturates fats and salt.

Eating foods high in these can cause health problems such as high blood presser, diabetic and cardiovascular diseases.

Here are 3 Main Colours Of The  Food Traffic Light System

1. Red

If any food is marked red on a food label it means it’s high on the item highlighted this could be sugar, fat, saturate fats or salt.

Food marked with red should be avoided these food have a high risk on your healthy.

2. Orange

Orange means the sugar, fat, saturate fat or salt is medium, you can eat the food with the colour code but you should you should be careful not to eat too much food in this category.

If you already have health problems you should eat food with orange labels moderately as eating more of food in orange labels might exacerbate your health problems.

3. Green 

Green means the food is healthy for you, when doing your weekly shopping you should aim to take more food with green labels and limit red labels and orange labels.

Understanding and reading food labels will help you to eat healthily and stay healthy.

Read labels and your body will thank you for a long time.

 Over to you…

What healthy foods do you enjoy eating?

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