Snackwell

Nutritional panels

Every Arnott's pack features a nutrition panel. This page shows you how a nutrition panel works and explains what each of the terms mean. The nutrition panel tells you the nutrient content of a food per 100g and per serve.

Nutrients that need to be specified include:

  • Energy (kilojoule and/or calorie)
  • Protein
  • Fat (total fat and saturated fat)
  • Carbohydrate (total carbohydrate and sugars)
  • Sodium

Additional nutrients such as dietary fibre, cholesterol or vitamins and minerals may also be included. The nutrition panel can be used to compare the energy or sugar content of similar foods, or can be used to monitor or calculate daily nutrient intake. Understanding the nutrition panel may help you select foods that match your dietary needs.

Nutritional panel descriptions

Energy

Energy refers to the kilojoules (kJ) or calories (cal) available in food. One calorie (cal) is equal to 4.2 kilojoules (kJ). Kilojoule is metric while 'calorie' is the Imperial measure.

Carbohydrate and protein both contribute 17kJ or 4 cal per gram, fat contributes 37kJ or 9 cal per gram, and dietary fibre contributes 8kJ or 2 cal per gram.

For a normal, healthy diet, the best energy contributions are:

  • 55-60% from carbohydrate, for immediate energy
  • 25-30% from fat to help keep you going
  • 12-15% from protein for maintaining a healthy body

 If the amount of energy you eat exceeds your energy output or physical activity, then your body will store the extra energy as fat and you will gain weight. Weight loss is achieved when you burn more energy than you eat.

Protein

Protein is the important part of muscle and tissues and is essential for cell growth and repair. Once digested, the body uses protein for maintaining muscle and tissue strength, which is especially important for active children.

Protein contributes 17kJ or 4 cal per gram.

Fat

Fat is the most concentrated energy source, contributing 37kJ or 9 cal per gram. Fats are an essential part of our diet,orming the structure of all cell membranes and body tissues. Fat insulates the body from heat loss, and protects bones, nerves and organs such as the heart. Fats also enhance the appearance, taste, texture and keeping quality of food.

Nutritionists recommend you should get between 25-30% of energy from fat, of which not more than 10% should be from saturated fats. A physically active lifestyle and a diet that is low in fat and high in fruit, vegetables and cereals, such as whole grains and wheat, have been related with a decreased risk of diet related diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
Fats are made up of different fatty acids, including monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated. Each fatty acid has a different effect on the blood and body.


Saturated Fat

Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature, for example, animal fats such as butter. Research shows that not all saturated fats have undesirable effects in the blood and body. However, in general, saturated fats tend to increase 'bad' cholesterol levels in the blood. Nutritionists recommend you should limit the amount of saturated fat in your diet.

Polyunsaturated Fat

Polyunsaturated fats tend to lower the total and 'bad' cholesterol levels while maintaining the level of 'good' cholesterol, called HDL. Polyunsaturated fats, like Omega-6 and Omega-3, should be part of a healthy diet. You can source Omega-3 by consuming Arnott's Vita-Weat Soy & Linseed, canola, linseed oil and oil from fatty fish. You can source Omega-6 by consuming sunflower, safflower and cottonseed oils.

Monounsaturated Fat

Monounsaturated fats, like polyunsaturated fats, can reduce the level of total and 'bad' cholesterol and increase the level of 'good' cholesterol. Olive, canola, peanut and some sunflower oils are good sources of monounsaturated fats. Arnott's use a specially developed sunflower oil, which is highly monounsaturated, in our Vita-Weat biscuits.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are very important as they are the main fuel for our body. In fact, nutritionists say you should try to get 55-60% of your energy from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates break down to sugar in your blood and your body needs this sugar to function. Carbohydrate foods should be eaten regularly throughout the day to keep your energy levels up.
Not all carbohydrate foods break down into sugar at the same rate. Some break down more slowly which is easier for our bodies to deal with and gives us longer lasting energy. Others break down faster, giving us a quick energy burst. Carbohydrate foods are therefore rated on the basis of glycaemic index, which is how quickly or slowly they raise blood sugar levels. Foods with a lower GI (e.g. 55 or below) break down slowly, giving us sustained energy, helping you feel fuller for longer.  High GI foods are good for refueling especially after vigorous physical activity.

Carbohydrates contribute 17kJ or 4 cal per gram.


Sugars

Sugars include glucose, fructose, sucrose and lactose. Sugars provide the body with energy just like other carbohydrates, so aren't 'empty calories' as some people claim. Like all foods and nutrients, variety and moderation are the main keys to a healthier you. Excess consumption of sugar (like any other nutrient) can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Sugars contribute 17kJ or 4 cal per gram

Dietary Fibre

Dietary fibre refers to the non-digestible portion of plant foods. The main types of dietary fibre are soluble, insoluble and resistant starch. Soluble fibre, like the fibre in oats and barley, has been shown to protect against heart disease. Insoluble fibre, like the fibre in wheat bran, has benefits including the prevention of bowel cancer and many other bowel complaints. Foods containing dietary fibre are important as they provide essential nutrients, and keep our digestive systems working properly. Nutritionists recommend adults consume at least 30g of dietary fibre a day. For children, and teenagers, calculate the child’s age + 10. This equals the number of grams of  fibre a child needs to eat each day. One serve of Arnott's Snack Right Apricot Fruit Slice, which contains more than 37% real fruit, provides as much fibre as a bunch of grapes or a medium mandarin.


Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential substances that the body needs in small quantities for many different, vital functions. Some of our biscuits have added vitamins or minerals to help boost required daily intake. Food regulations currently allow only B vitamins (thiamine, niacin and riboflavin), vitamin E, folate, iron, magnesium and zinc to be added to biscuits.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is found in animal foods, in particular animal fats. Plant foods do not contain cholesterol, so vegetable oils, such as palm oil are cholesterol free. Cholesterol is a soft waxy substance found among the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all our body cells. Cholesterol is a vital part of cell membranes and hormones. Cholesterol is manufactured by the liver and used to make vitamin D and bile salts.

Too much cholesterol in the blood causes fatty deposits to build up in blood vessels, making it harder for blood to flow through. The gradual thickening of the arteries may lead to coronary heart disease. Cholesterol and other fats can't dissolve in our blood. Instead, they are transported by special fats and proteins called lipoproteins. There are several kinds of lipoproteins; the two most important ones are High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL). HDL is known as 'good' cholesterol as it can actually unclog arteries by removing cholesterol from artery walls and taking it back to the liver. LDL is often called 'bad' cholesterol as it is a major carrier of the fat and deposits cholesterol in cells, which blocks blood cells. It is important to maintain a balance of HDL and LDL cholesterol for optimum heart health.

Sodium

Sodium is an essential and important mineral that helps maintain our body's fluid balance. The technical term for salt is sodium chloride, which is made up of about 40% sodium. Salt is used in biscuits and savoury snacks as it contributes to taste and texture. Another source of dietary sodium in some biscuits is sodium bicarbonate, which is part of baking powder. The recommended dietary intake for sodium is 920-2300mg per day. This is the same as 40-100mmol /day. People with high blood pressure, a condition known as hypertension, should eat a diet low in salt.

Potassium

Potassium is necessary for maintaining fluid balance. It can also reduce high blood pressure and can be used by food manufacturers to reduce the sodium content of foods. The new food regulations no longer require potassium to be listed in the nutrition panel.