NUTRITION INFO

Making better food choices means reading the nutritional information panel and the ingredients list. We’ve designed our Wunderbites packs to make that as easy as possible.

All Wunderbites packs show what to look for in the nutritional information panel. The ‘per serving’ column is useful to see how much energy a serving contains, but reading the ‘per 100 gram’ column is the best way to compare foods and make the best choices.

The figures in the 100g column show grams and percent, for example, 6.9g sugar per 100g = 6.9%.

What are nutrients?

We need nutrients for growth, energy and other body functions. Carbohydrate, protein and fat are the three main nutrients (macronutrients) that provide us with energy. We need smaller amounts of vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) for optimal health and wellness.

Energy

Energy is measured in kilojoules and calories (4.18 kilojoules = 1 calorie). The number of kilojoules in a food depends on how much carbohydrate, protein and fat the food contains. Carbohydrate and protein provide about 16 kilojoules of energy per gram. Fat provides 37 kilojoules per gram. When we eat more energy than we use, we gain weight.

Protein

Protein is important for growth and development, and studies have shown that protein satisfies hunger more than carbohydrates or fats. We should aim to get 15–25% of our total energy from protein.

Fat

Fat is the most concentrated source of energy. Foods high in fat are usually high in energy, which can add to weight gain, especially if we don’t do enough physical activity, so it’s a good idea to choose foods with less fat. However, some fat in our diet is essential for health and wellbeing. We should aim to get 20–35% of our total energy from fat.

Saturated fat

There are three main types of fats: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Eating too much saturated fat can raise blood cholesterol levels, which can raise the risk of coronary artery disease (narrowing of the arteries). We should aim to get less than 10% of our total energy from saturated fat.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are made up of sugars, starches and fibres and provide our main source of energy. We should aim to get 45–65% of our energy from low-GI nutrient-dense carbohydrates – check the ingredients list for things like whole grains, nuts and seeds. (See Our Story for more information about GI.)

Sugar

Sugar is a carbohydrate that provides energy but no nutrients. These ‘empty’ kilojoules enter the bloodstream quickly, which causes a fast rise in glucose. If we eat too much sugar, we can be prone to storing fat and gaining weight, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. (See Our Story for more information about diabetes.)

Fibre

Fibre is the part of fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains we eat that we don’t digest, and it’s very important for a healthy diet. It helps to slow digestion, lower cholesterol, help bowel function, reduce the risk of some diseases and it makes you feel fuller. The Ministry of Health recommends New Zealand adults should consume 25–30g fibre each day. That means choosing foods with over 6% (or 6g/100g) fibre.

Sodium (salt)

Eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure and increase the risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Foods that contain less than 120mg sodium per 100g (like Wunderbites) are considered ‘low sodium’. Health experts recommend we choose low sodium foods or salt-reduced varieties wherever possible.

Glycaemic index (GI)

When you eat carbohydrates, your body turns these into glucose. This is transported in your bloodstream to provide energy to your body.

The glycaemic index (GI) measures how fast and how much the carbohydrates in a food raise blood glucose levels on a scale from 0–100.

Foods with an index number below 55 (like Wunderbites) have a low GI, while foods from 56–69 are medium GI and foods above 70 are high GI.

Foods with a low GI are digested slowly and produce a gradual rise in blood glucose and insulin levels. This can improve your blood glucose control and keep your blood glucose levels constant. (See Our Story for more information about GI.)

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