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To understand what you and your family are eating, you need to be able to make sense of food labels. Healthy foods are low in fat, low in sugar, low in salt but high in fibre.

Under EU food law, when nutritional information is given, it must be stated as per 100g of a food or 100ml of a drink. 100g of some foods may be more or less than a typical serving.

nutrition table with explanations


Daily Reference Intake Values

Many companies choose to display Daily Reference Intake Values. These outline the approximate amount of nutrients needed by healthy adults. This information can be given per portion and as a percentage for each nutrient.

sample GDA table

Traffic Light Labelling

Other companies choose to display adult’s reference intakes. This information is given per serving. It will be displayed as a percentage for each nutrient. Choose more Greens and Ambers, and fewer Reds.

sample reference intake table

Green Low in that nutrient, and is the healthy choice

Amber Medium

Red High



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© The Food Safety Promotion Board