December 3, 2020

Deciphering Labels

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Dietician Bethany speakswebYour health is in your hands, to a large extent. To help civil servants succeed in their quest for good health the Civil Service College began its second Health and Wellness Week on Monday, 11 February.

Health Services Authority Community Dietician Ms Bethany Smith provided participants at the first lunch-hour presentation this week, with prime tips on navigating confusing nutrition facts and labels and becoming better food shoppers.

A simple rule: the more unpronounceable and unfamiliar the ingredients on the list, the more processed is the food product, and better left off your plate.

After giving a quick lesson in reading labels properly, Ms Smith guided the small number of attendees through a food label exercise. The goal was both to demystify labelling and to explain the relevant aspects, from portion size to daily values.

By the end of the exercise, most participants were surprised at the amount of sodium and fat that lurked in the processed food whose packages they analysed.

Both of these, and especially saturated and trans-fats, can be detrimental to cardio-vascular and heart health in the long-term.

Following pointers about blood pressure on Tuesday, the week also features dealing with matters of the heart on Thursday and healthy family finances on Friday.

Photo caption: Photo by Bina Mani

Health Services Authority Community Dietician Ms Bethany Smith outlined the meaning behind food labelling on processed food packaging, at a lunch hour health and wellness meeting at GAB on Monday, 11 February.

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