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Understanding Food Labels

With an ever-growing concern about our health, it can be really important to not only partake in regular exercise, but to also understand the types of foods we are putting into our bodies each day! It may not be the top of everyone's priority list, but as a Personal Trainer it is part of my job to help take the guess work out of the meal planning and prepping for you.


Following a gym plan from home can be easy - we're overwhelmed with workouts online, and a number of personal trainers / gym instructors available locally - but the saying is true... "abs are made in the kitchen." Now, I'm not expecting everyone to want abs quite so literally, because we each have our own health goals, but consuming a healthy diet is important throughout life to help us try to avoid ill-health. With an ever-increasing ability to pick up fast food rapidly (and cheaply) I can understand why so many families may opt for buying these types of foods as opposed to cooking a meal from scratch. A sharing chocolate bar is cheaper than a pack of apples and understandably most people would opt for the chocolate; similarly, a pack of chicken nuggets and chips is likely cheaper than a whole chicken to roast and a packet of potatoes - buying cheap ingredients is a no-brainer for most families.


It's becoming more apparent to me that a lot of people DON'T know how to cook from scratch, so let alone be able to shop more consciously buying healthier ingredients, following the advice of food labels. The UK government and NHS updated the food labelling system in the UK to help us to more easily understand what we're consuming, to hopefully cut down on foods high in saturated fats, salt or sugars, with the view in the long run we may be able to reduce obesity across the country. It seems through lockdown that many people have taken up extra exercise sessions in order to make a change to their health... I know how hard it can be however to cut down on chocolate during such crazy times!


Firstly, the traffic light system has become well recognised design across almost all food packets within supermarkets in the UK. It tells us the calorie content of the product, as well as fats, saturates, sugars and salts, coloured either red, amber or green depending on their content.