Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.

-Dale Turner-

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Now with Omega 3

Nutrition Claims
Nutrition claims highlight a particular nutritional characteristic of a food and are often seen on food packaging.

"Claims may be about nutrients such as carbohydrate, sugars, starch, protein, amino acids, fat, cholesterol, fatty acids, dietary fibre, salt, sodium, potassium, vitamins, minerals, or other biologically active substances, or other properties such as energy. Biologically active substances are substances, other than traditionally recognised nutrients, that have specific health effects; an example is plant sterols, which help reduce cholesterol absorption".

- http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/

Nutritional claims can be VERY misleading to consumers and thus I am urging you to PLEASE READ LABELS before buying products.  For example "Now with 20% more soy" says nothing about how much soy was in a particular soy milk in the first place.  Recently
at uni we looked at Tip Top white bread that claims to now have added omega 3.  Little does the customer know that to get enough omega 3 for it to seriously benefit you you would need to eat 12 slices of the bread.  Also what I found amusing that one slice is only 1/30 of your required daily fibre intake so theres hardly any point eating it really?  Consuming 12 slices = too much salt, too much sugar, TOO MANY CALORIES.  But back to my point - consumers are likely to assume that 1 serve gives them a beneficial amount of omega 3.  WRONG!

Luckily there are these wonderful things that govern our society.  They are known as laws and some of them luckily regulate nutritional claims.  There are so many things you wouldnt expect!

"What does the Code specifically say about nutrition claims?

In general, when food manufacturers make a nutrition claim, they must declare the amount of the claimed substance per 100 g and per serve in the nutrition information panel (NIP). The Code may also require the declaration of other relevant information in the NIP.
In addition to this, the Code (clauses 12–17 of Standard 1.2.8 and clauses 4-7 of Standard 1.3.2) has rules which state how much energy or how much of a nutrient has to be contained in a food in order to make a claim about energy or a nutrient. Rules apply to the following:
  • vitamins and minerals
  • polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fatty acids
  • omega fatty acids
  • energy
  • lactose
  • gluten
  • salt, sodium, and potassium.
The User Guide on Nutrition Information Labelling explains the criteria that apply to these nutrients". See Australia and New Zealand Government food standards website:   http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/foodstandards/userguides/nutritioninformation1406.cfm

What to look for
  • Low Fat: this food must have 3g of fat or less per 100g, but look at the label because it may be high in sugar instead
  • Fat Free: this food must have 0.15g fat or less per 100g food
  • Lite or Light: always check the nutrition information label on these foods because lite may mean the food is lite in colour or something else and not lite in salt, fat or sugar
  • No Added Sugar: this food has no 'added' sugar but may still be high in sugar so check your label
  • Low Joule or Diet: this food is either low in sugar and/or fat and is may be artificially sweetened
  • No Added Salt: this food has no 'added' salt but may still be high in salt so check the label for the salt content
  • Salt Reduced: this food has 25% less salt than a similar product. Lower salt is good but the food may still be high in salt so check the label
  • Low Salt of Low Sodium: this food must have less than 120mg sodium per 100g and is a good choice
  • High Fibre: this food must have more than 3g of fibre per 100g and is a good choice

Basically you CAN'T tell a consumer that having less cholestrol will cure heart disease etc or any other disease for that matter.  Special rules apply to folate as it is particularly imporant for pregnant women.

So if you have time, here's another reason to READ nutrition labels before you buy things!


Post a Comment