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The OCD approach to rating your food cupboard for health

July 26, 2011

First off, apologies if anyone is offended by me using ‘OCD’ in the title of this post.  If you are a member of the offended and you’d like to suggest an alternative title for this post then I promise to use it – so long as it’s relevant i.e. I won’t be renaming this post to “I am a stinky moo cow” or anything like that, nomatter how much you’d like me too, git-heads.

This evening I went to a seminar on Healthy Eating.  It was run by colleague K who has a degree in foodiology.  The focus was around equipping stop smoking advisors with healthy eating advice to pass on to clients.  I’m not going to report back on all of it (not in this post anyway) because we went into lots of things, just focus on one bit – labelling of how much salt, sugar and fat foodstuff things have in them.

Since a certain time ago that I can’t remember, food companies have been required to have a label on their boxes, packets or whatever that lists how much salt, sugar and fat (and some other things) are contained in the product per 100g.  Depending on how much there is per 100g, the product can be classified (by the FDA?) as high, medium or low in salt, sugar and fat respectively.  Some products you probably don’t need the label to have a clue, like with salad or whipped cream you can probably guess it.  However some products one might be surprised that there’s more (or less) than you thought of one of those things.

In a future post I might get round to telling you how much I was told at the seminar we should have of salt, sugar and fat but for now I’m going to start a list of packaged food items, some from my kitchen and some from empty packets handed round at the seminar, saying for each item whether it’s high, medium or low in salt, sugar and fat.  If this is likely to bore the arse off you then please do move on, but if you’re likely to be interested then please bookmark this page as I plan to keep it updated.

Also you can check your own stuff out at home:

For Sugars – High is over 15g per 100g, Medium is between 5g and 15g, Low is 5g and below
For Fat – High is over 20g, Medium is between 3g and 20g, Low is 3g and below
For Salt – High is over 1.5g, Medium is between 0.3g and 1.5g, Low is 0.3g and below

Some stores use a traffic light system to display this stuff – Red for High, Yellow/Amber for Medium and Green for Low.  I’m going to use that same system here too, provided it shows up ok on the screen.  I also would like to apologise in advance to my growing number of US friends for my list being UK-centric.  I do still have some US foods hanging about and will see if I can include them 🙂
ETA: the food info on my US foods is a lot different and in one case it’s in Spanish so er… maybe not

I’m not banning foods high in sugar, fat or salt from my kitchen but trying to be more aware of how much I use of them.

Low Sugar, Low Fat and Low Salt
Waitrose Semi-Skimmed Goat Milk
Warburtons Wholemeal Bread
Realfoods Corn Thins
Prices Tuna Chunks in spring water
Wholegrain Mustard
Kidney beans
Chick peas
Wholewheat pasta
White rice
Brown rice
Bulghar wheat
Chopped tomatoes

Medium Sugar, Low Fat and Low Salt
Innocent Kiwi, apple and lime smoothie
Apples

Low Sugar, Low Fat and Medium Salt
Whole Earth Organic Tomato Ketchup
Ryvita Onion Crispbread
Napolina Pizza topping

Low Sugar, Medium Fat and Low Salt
Delamere Dairy Goat Yogurt
Quinoa
Porridge oats

Low Sugar, Medium Fat and Medium Salt
Tesco Meatfree BBQ Mushroom Quarter Pounders
Tesco olive oil and sea salt croutons
Birds Eye Potato Waffles
Kintyre Breaded Scampi
Birds Eye Chicken Fingers
Bertolli Pecorino Pasta sauce
Batchelors Super Noodles
Sainsburys Salted Pretzels
Tesco Finest Beer Battered Onion Rings
John West Mackerel Fillets

Medium Sugar, Low Fat and Medium Salt
Rice wine vinegar
Ryvita sweet onion crispbreads

Medium Sugar, Medium Fat and Medium Salt
Cranks’ Tomato, Ginger and Basil pasta sauce

Low Sugar, High Fat and Low Salt
Tahini

Low Sugar, Medium Fat and High Salt
Salt and vinegar Snack a Jacks
Linda McCartney Veggie sausages
Tesco Welsh Goat cheese (soft)
Black olives (in a can)

Low Sugar, High Fat and Medium Salt
Hellman’s Mayonnaise

Medium Sugar, High Fat and Low Salt
Lindt 85% Cocoa Chocolate

High Sugar, Low Fat and Medium Salt
HP Sauce

High Sugar, Medium Fat and Low Salt
Dorset Cereals (super high fibre muesli)

Medium Sugar, Medium Fat and High Salt
Nairns Oaty Bakes (Caramelised onion flavour)

High Sugar, Medium Fat and Medium Salt
Kellogs Pop Tarts
Jammie Dodgers

Low Sugar, High Fat and High Salt
Tesco Roquefort
Oatcakes
Whole Earth Crunchy Peanut Butter

High Sugar, Low Fat and High Salt
Wagamama Sweet Teriyaki marinade/stir fry sauce
Heinz Tomato Ketchup limited edition with added Balsamic Vinegar

High Sugar, High Fat and Low Salt
Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate

High Sugar, High Fat and Medium Salt
Marks & Spencer Extremely Chocolatey Cornflake Mini Bites
Marks & Spencer Flapjacks Mini Bites
Thorntons Mini Caramel Shortcakes

To be continued…

I hope the above image looks ok.  I wish I’d thought to scan it before I spilled cherry soya yogurt on it and had to wipe it off.

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From → Healthy eating

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