Food Labels And How To Read Them

Confused woman Better Shape fitness blog

Do you know how to read food labels and what foods you should be eating to enhance your weight loss or exercise goals?


Firstly, let’s have a look at food labels and how to read them.

It’s really important to gain an understanding of what you’re putting into your body and what’s going to fuel or hinder your performance in the gym and in your personal training sessions.

Don’t rely on the marketing companies to tell you what a “health food” is, instead educate yourself on how to read the labels so you make the right choice for what you want to achieve!

Shopping Better Shape Fitness

Should I be looking at the “per 100g” column or the “per serve” column?

The “per 100g” column can be used to compare similar products, for example; which yoghurt has the least amount of sugar in it. This column is also a great quick guide to see the percentage, so if it has 10g sugar per 100g, 10% is sugar. 

The “per serve” column can be used to see your actual intake, but make sure to check the serving size is the same as what you are consuming (this is where a lot of people come undone).

Let’s have a simplified look at 3 things to focus on when you’re next shopping…. fat, sugar and sodium. 

Butter and fat Better Shape Fitness


Fats will be listed as “total” and “saturated”.  

Keeping total fat under 10g per 100g and saturated fats under 3g per 100g is what you should be aiming at. 

Sugar Cubes Better Shape Fitness


As a rule with sugar, I always try to stay under 10g per 100g. 

If the sugar content is high or above 15g per 100g, have a look for hidden sugars named as something else like dextrose, fructose, sucrose, etc. 

Table Salt Better Shape Fitness


Choosing lower sodium products is better for you and as a rule less than 400mg per 100g is good and less than 120g per 100g is best. 


And lastly with food labels, ingredients are listed from the greatest to smallest amount by weight. 

What foods should you be eating?

You should be aiming at eating a balanced diet full of water rich, live, nutrient dense food. 

What does that mean? 

It means more fresh meals and ingredients and less packaged and processed foods.

If your goal is weight loss, strength, fitness or better mental health, fresh foods and ingredients will hep you to achieve your goal.

The Australian Dietary  Guidelines say that to achieve and maintain a healthy weight that you should be physically active, maintain muscle strength and choose nutritious foods to meet your energy needs. Talk to a professional if you need to for guidance on what your intake should look like.

Exercise and diet go hand in hand and are so important to your overall health and the results you want to achieve. 

Thinking Woman Better Shape Fitness

'live, nutrient dense food is going to fuel your body and be broken down with less effort than packaged and processed foods'

Include choices from the 5 food groups for a balanced diet. These are:

  • Fresh vegetables 
  • Fruit 
  • Grains
  • Proteins
  • Dairy

Again, I want to reiterate that water rich, live, nutrient dense food is going to fuel your body and be broken down with less effort than packaged and processed foods. 

Next time you do your groceries, read the food labels, compare products and try to stick to the amounts suggested. 

Plan your meals to be water rich, live and nutrient dense – with a little practice, it will become easier every day and it will help with your results and overall health.

If you’re currently exercising in the gym or if you’re doing personal training, focusing on the food labels and eating the correct foods will help you have more energy and get the most out of your training.  

You don’t have to do it alone, so if you or someone you know needs some help, give us a call…. we’re here to help you understand.

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Better Shape Fitness are the Mature Age weight loss specialists and the only place that brings Gym Memberships and Personal Training together for you at no extra cost.

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Follow the link below for a step by step guide on the benefits of strength training for weight loss.