Know how much fat, sugar and salt are in your groceries

FAT, sugar and salt can often be described in many different ways on food ingredients lists.

Queensland Health Senior Nutritionist Judy Nean said that having an understanding of some of the ways in which fat, sugar and salt can be described can help you make healthier food choices at the supermarket.

"Most packaged food and drink for retail sale is required to have a list of ingredients according to Food Standards Australia and New Zealand," she said.

"This means any substance, including additives, used in the preparation or manufacture of that particular food.

Fat Sugar Salt
Vegetable oil/fat Sucrose Sodium
Animal fat/oil Maltose Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Shortening Lactose Sodium bicarbonate
Copha Dextrose Sodium ascorbate
Lard Fructose Celery/garlic/onion salt
Palm oil Glucose Vegetable salt
Coconut oil/milk/cream Maple or golden syrup Sodium nitrate/nitrite
Butter Malt Meat/yeast extract
Milk solids Brown or raw sugar Baking soda
Cream Corn syrup  
Ghee White or caster sugar  
Coconut Honey  

The ingredient list can also be an indicator of how much of each ingredient is in that food Ms Nean continued.

"People are often unaware that the ingredients are listed from the most to the least quantity.

"If fat, sugar and/or salt are listed within the first three ingredients, it is best to look to other products in order to make a healthier choice.

"However it is also important to look at all the ingredients listed, as further down there may be other sources of fat, sugar and/or salt, just named differently.

Limiting fat, sugar and/or salt improves your diet and decreases your chances of gaining weight, increasing your blood pressure or cholesterol.

Making healthier choices when you are grocery shopping, including plenty of vegetables and fruit, combined with regular exercise, will benefit your overall health and wellbeing.

Do you read the ingredients lists on your groceries?

This poll ended on 29 June 2015.

Current Results

Always. I want to know what's in what I'm eating.




I check the ingredients on some of the foods that I buy.


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  editors picks fat food health sugar

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