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Understanding the Traffic Lights
  • Each recipe in the Nutrition Centre includes a set of coloured traffic lights. They can help you to make an informed choice about the dish. The traffic lights are based on guidelines from the Food Standards Agency in the United Kingdom.

    Foods that are low in fat, especially saturated fat, salt and sugar are generally better for your health as they can help to reduce your risks of NCDs (non-communicable diseases) such as diabetes and heart disease. The traffic lights indicate whether a particular dish is high, medium or low in fat, saturated fat (sat fats), sugars and salt. Considering them when you select a recipe can help you make a more balanced choice.

    A red traffic light indicates that a recipe is high in something that you should try to cut down on. If you were driving a car, you would stop at a red light. Similarly, when you choose a recipe, pause at red light dishes and try to avoid having too many dishes with more than one red light. Such dishes are fine occasionally, but try not to have them too often, and choose smaller portions.

    If you see amber, the recipe is neither very healthy nor very unhealthy – eat it in moderation. Green is for go! Generally, to reduce your risks of NCDs, it is advised that you choose foods that have more green and amber lights.

    Note that some people will need to have more calories — if recovering from illness, for example. In this case, you may need to have foods that don’t follow the above rules for NCDs. Ask your dietitian or medical team for further advice.

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