Do you find it hard to work out what’s in the food you’re eating?

How much fibre, how many carbs and how much sugar certain foods contain?

It can often be hard to navigate the world of food, especially low-carb and sugar free products.

This can be even harder when the packaging doesn’t feature a nutritional label, or when the information on label is unreliable.

There are many apps that can assist with calculating the nutritional content of foods, but these can vary in content and reliability.  

I recently looked up the carb content for a standard chicken-burger and dosed my insulin accordingly, only to have my Blood Glucose Level (BGL) sky-rocket to 14! 

It’s worth noting though, that this may have been due to the fact I only dosed for the carbs I was eating, not the fat or protein.

If you missed my earlier post about the Impact of Fat & Protein on B.G.L. have a read, it talks about Aussie research that’s really helpful if you have diabetes.

 So how can I find reliable nutritional information?

A friend of mine recently told me about a new resource launched by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), so I wanted to share it with you.

The updated FSANZ Australian Food Composition Database means users like you and me can now search a range of products to find the nutritional content.

Protein, fibre, carbs and sugar are just some of the nutrients listed, plus loads more.

It’s worth noting that the data are averages of foods at the time they were analysed. Factors that affect the composition of foods include season, variety, stage of ripeness and area of production.

A ripe banana for example contains different nutrient amounts compared with a less ripe banana.   

Featuring the ‘custom serve size’ on the database, you can work out the nutritional content of the food you’re eating down to the gram or millilitre, or you can just click on the pre-existing common serve sizes to speed up the process.

You can find everything from milk and bread on the database, to newly added foods such as rocket, quinoa, rice milk, pasta and even gluten free flour. 

What else can I find on the database?

The Australian Food Composition Database (Release 1) features nutrition information on more than 1,500 foods. Here are just some examples:

  • Soy flour has almost 5 times more protein than wheat flour. Per 100g, wheat flour contains 10g protein while soy flour contains 49g.
  • A shop-bought beef lasagne contains 11.8g of carbohydrate per 100g.
  • One Fuji apple has about 20.5g of carbohydrate.
  • A 50g serve of dates will give you with approximately 5g of dietary fibre, which is over 15% of the recommended daily intake. 
  • A 50g serve of dark chocolate contains 30 mg of caffeine. A 250 mL cup of black tea contains 50 mg and a 50 mL espresso contains 145 mg of caffeine.
  • The vegetable that contains the highest amount of water per 100g is cucumber at approximately 96%. Strawberry is the fruit with the highest water content at 92%.

Check out the Australian Food Composition Database to find out more and to search for the nutritional content of your favourite foods. 

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