Help At Your Fingertips

How to make better food choices

When shopping for groceries, you can look out for the Healthier Choice Symbol to guide you to make better food choices.

These products are generally higher in whole grains, dietary fibre and calcium, and lower in sugar, fat, saturated fat and sodium.

The Health Promotion Board has partnered retailers and food manufacturers to increase the number of such products here, said a spokesman.

However, you may not be aware that there are different types of symbols for different categories of food and some products may have two nutrient claims.

Here is a guide to the six logos.

HIGHER IN WHOLE GRAINS

Contains at least 20 per cent more whole grains than similar products. Products that may carry this logo include brown rice, wholemeal bread, wholegrain breakfast cereal or cereal beverages.

HIGHER IN CALCIUM

Has 25 per cent more calcium, compared with similar products. These include calcium-fortified soya and milk products.

LOWER IN SUGAR

Contains at least 25 per cent less sugar than regular sweetened beverages or products in the same food category.

Items that may fall into this category are packaged drinks, cultured milk products and dried fruit.

LOWER IN SODIUM

Has at least 25 per cent less sodium than other similar products. These include sauces, pastes, canned and processed meat, dried legumes, nuts and seeds.

LOWER IN SATURATED FATS

Has at least 25 per cent less saturated fat than other similar products.

Dairy products, edible oils, convenience meals and 3-in-1 beverages could carry this label.

TRANS-FAT FREE

Contains no trans-fat or negligible amounts of it, for example, less than 0.5g per 100g of the product.

This applies to margarine, edible oils, biscuits, cakes and bread.

Joyce Teo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2017, with the headline 'How to make better food choices'. Print Edition | Subscribe