Belfast Telegraph

Four easy ways to check calorie content when out and about

In case you missed it, new research from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) shows only 15% of men and 44% of women in Northern Ireland know their recommended daily calorie intake of 2,500kcal for men and 2,000kcal for women. [1]

Knowing these numbers can help you make better food choices and live a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Eating and drinking more calories than we need leads to weight gain and ultimately obesity. Obesity can lead to some serious and potentially life threatening conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes and some types of cancer.

So how do you find out how many calories are in the food you’re eating? Here are four tips – plus a handy infographic – to help you check calorie amounts so you can live your best healthy life!
 

FSA Know Your Calories Infographic2 OUTLINES 300dpi.jpg

1. Check the food labels on packaged foods

The calorie content of packaged foods is included on the front-of-pack label. This information will appear under the "Energy" heading and is often given in kcals, so 250 calories will be written as 250kcal.

Many labels will also state the number of calories in "one portion" of the food, but remember that the manufacturer's idea of "one portion" may not be the same as yours, so there could be more calories in the portion you serve yourself.

2. Pick restaurants and cafes that display calories

It can be tricky to know your calories when eating out. A great way to tackle this problem is to find cafés and restaurants that display calorie content on their menus. This is happening already across a lot of major food chains and it’s something we’re sure to see more often as this helpful and healthy trend catches on.

3. Visit restaurant and cafe websites before you go

The Internet is your best friend when it comes to knowing your calories. Many chain restaurants now list the nutritional information for their menu items on their websites. Check these out and arm yourself with this information before going to the restaurant so you can make choices that are within your recommended daily calorie intake.

4. Check out your favourite supermarket’s website

If you prefer to do your ‘big food shop’ online, many stores supply calorie information on their websites. From calorie content, recipe recommendations and much more, it’s easy to find the info you need to make heathier choices.

Looking for more information about your recommended daily calorie intake? The Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland has launched a new campaign to raise public awareness of the daily calorie recommendation of 2,500kcal for men and 2,000kcal for women. To learn more, visit www.food.gov.uk/knowyourcalories/ or visit FSA on Facebook at Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland and on Twitter @FSAinNI.


[1] The survey was conducted by 2CV on behalf of the Food Standards Agency. The survey used a nationally representative sample of 311 adults in Northern Ireland.

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