In Australia, I consider nutrition content claims – statements like “high in calcium” or “high in fibre” – to be fairly accurate, as they must meet a set of criteria set by the FSANZ (Food Standards Australia and New Zealand).
Where it can get confusing is when nutrition claims are made per serving. For example, a product can claim it’s a good source of dietary fibre if it has four grams of fibre per serve, but the company can simply make up what the serving size is, which might mislead consumers. A high-fibre cereal may only offer that health benefit if your serving size matches what the product indicates. Pay attention to the serving size when you’re comparing products – the calculator on your phone will help you out here.
When comparing two food products in the same category, it can often be more helpful to focus on the 100g column rather than the serving size column, so you’re comparing apples with apples – so to speak.
This is a lot to remember when you’re out grocery shopping and staring at all the packages in the aisles. I recommend searching the Australian Food Composition Database on the FSANZ website. A reliable source of truth for nutritional content, the database breaks a tonne of different products down to their molecular content, so you can find out what exactly you’re eating. The website also allows you to set your own custom serving size, so you can easily compare different food side-by-side.