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

By 2nd May 2017 June 24th, 2020 No Comments

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
Hope this helps! Read more content by clicking here.
Claudia Correia

Claudia Correia

Claudia has a degree in Dietetics and has a special interest in Women’s Health, Mediterranean Diet, Weight Management, Chronic Disease, Nutritional Wellness & Mindful Eating, as well as, in Cancer Nutrition Therapy. She is a dietitian member of SNDA (Singapore Nutrition and Dietetics Association) and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Claudia has been practising as a dietitian since 2010, and she has spent four years at Raffles Hospital. For the past years, she has been passionately working with her clients on areas such as weight management, women’s health, chronic disease management, wellness and oncology. Claudia has diversified experience from both Europe and Asia, coupled with the expertise of handling a variety of cuisines. She caters to the most varied needs of an individual. When consulting her clients, she educates and creates awareness of the impact of food, while emphasizing the enjoyment of food.

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