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Ask a Dietician: What should I look out for in a food label if I’m trying to lose weight?

Hi Claudia, I am currently trying to shed some kilograms. For that reason, I started to cook my own meals. However, when shopping for ingredients and choosing between several products, I am not quite sure about what should I look out for on the food labels in order to choose the best product for my weight loss diet. Please advise me about this?

Thanks!
Hello,
When you look at food labels, it is important to look at the ingredients list and nutritional information.
In the nutritional information, note the total calories, saturated fat, and fiber content. The ingredients list lists the ingredients present in the product from the highest amount to the least.
If you are trying to lose weight, the first thing you must look out for is sugar. If a product places sugar first on its ingredients list, it means that it contains mainly sugar and therefore, you should avoid it.
Watch out, not all products merely mention ‘sugar’ in their ingredients list. You should also look for alternative names for sugar hidden in the ingredients list, normally words that end in ‘ose’, such as fructose, sucrose, maltose and galactose.
Fiber-rich diet, on the other hand, is a great aid to weight loss. It keeps the gut healthy and helps you feel full or satisfied after a meal. Whole grains are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals essential to keeping you healthy when trying to lose weight. Choose products with these first ingredients:
  • Whole grain (eg. Barley, brown rice, and buckwheat)
  • Whole wheat
  • Whole [other grain]
  • Stoneground whole [grain]
  • Brown rice
  • Oats, oatmeal
  • Wheat berries
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