Is This Food Good or Bad?

A Quick Guide to Reading Food Labels

Hippocrates once said: “All things in nutriment are good or bad relatively.” In other words, food eaten in moderation is neither good nor bad for you. Take an apple, for example. Some people like to eat the entire apple-core, pips and all – and while a few pips won’t harm you, a whole cup of apple pips contains enough arsenic to kill a person.

As a nutritionist, the most frequently asked question I hear is whether a particular food or ingredient is good or bad for you. Often, my answer is “It depends on how much of it you consume.” Packaged foods are a good example. A serve of cereal for breakfast may be a healthy way to begin the day, but half a packet of cereal might not be such a good choice.

So how do you know what’s good or bad, and how do you decide what to buy? Knowing how to read food labels is a good start. Food manufacturers have different serving sizes, so when you’re comparing nutritional value between different brands, always look at the column that lists nutrient content per 100 grams. This way, you’ll be comparing apples with apples. You can then look at the nutrient content per serve on individual brands to help you make the right decision.

I have taught my kids how to read food labels, so when we go shopping for lunch box fillers, they choose their own food products based on the nutrient content per serve. They now know which muesli bars to purchase based on nutrient content. They have also learnt that based on this information, there are not really many healthier options to choose from amongst the dozens of muesli bars available. This is valuable knowledge that they will use to make healthier food choices throughout their lives.

If you’d like to kn ow how to read food labels then you can come and see one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians.  All our fees are eligible for health insurance rebates and you can click on this link to make an online booking. 

Written by Lisa Stegena, Nutritionist

Nutrition Force is a Western Australian based company of Nutritionists and Accredited Practising Dietitians that offer weight loss programsprivate dietetic consultationschildren’s nutrition & dietetics,  school nutrition and  Corporate Wellness programs.  If you would like more information on our Perth Dietitians and the other services we offer call us today on (08) 9385 7755.

No hard sell and no cookie cutter solutions

We have clients travelling for over three hours to come and see us for a range of dietary and health related conditions.  We also receive referrals from over 150 GP’s and specialists throughout WA for those on health care plans and with more complicated health conditions.

Gastric conditions and diseases are our specialty and we consult with many clients who have suffered for years or decades and sometime their whole life with debilitating symptoms.  Migraines, persistent cough, skin conditions, nerve and pain sensitivity and many other symptoms can be related to diet and food chemicals.  Many of our clients experience relief from symptoms within two weeks following our advice.

However, we see a range of clients ranging in age from toddlers to people in their 90’s for all dietary related health conditions including bariatric surgery, children’s dietary issues, weight loss, diabetes and so much more.

Team of Nutritionists and Dietitians

We share our knowledge and our personal stories to inspire, educate, and motivate you, and show you that being healthy can be simple and fun.


Write to us


Forgot Password?

Join Us

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.