Food label Photo: Thinkstock
No cholesterol or cholesterol-free - Even though the food may have no cholesterol, it can still be high in saturated fat and should be avoided – this applies to foods such as potato chips, corn chips, salty snack foods, pies, pastries, biscuits, sauces and doughnuts. Remember no cholesterol does not mean NO FAT.
Lite or light - Can apply to a food’s texture, flavour, salt or alcohol content, and doesn’t necessarily mean light in fat. Always check the nutrition information panel. Generally if a food has less than 10g of fat per 100 g, it’s suitable.
Reduced-fat - Seen on reduced-fat milks, cheese, ice-creams, mayonnaise and desserts. Contains less fat than regular products, but may not necessarily be low in fat (3 per cent or less). Usually such foods have 25 or 30 per cent less fat than the normal counterpart, so they still taste good and help you save on fat. But you can’t eat them as if they were ‘free’ foods.
Vegetable oil - Don’t be fooled into thinking this means an unsaturated vegetable oil such as canola, olive, soy bean, sunola or cottonseed oil. The words ‘vegetable oil’ usually mean palm
oil, a tropical oil with 50 per cent saturated fat which is widely used by the food industry to fry fast foods and snack foods. Like all oils, it has no cholesterol but is high in saturated fat and therefore not recommended.
Baked not fried - This often appears on snack foods and implies that the food is low in fat. For some snacks, such as pretzels, this is true but for others, such as biscuit snacks, it means they are
lower in fat (around 25 per cent) but not necessarily low in fat. Check the nutrition information panel for the grams of fat per serve.
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