Five key nutrients: Calories, Sugar, Fat, Saturated Fat and Salt

GDAs are an important tool for improving food literacy for consumers, helping them make better informed choices.

Using GDA labels will help you evaluate how a particular food fits into your daily meal plan and should help you manage your intake of calories and key nutrients; sugars, fat, saturates (saturated fat) and salt.

Although these key nutrients form an important part of a balanced diet, unfortunately many people tend to consume too much of them. Long term overconsumption of calories in combination with a lack of physical activity is associated with gaining weight and obesity, which increases risk of poor health and various diseases.

Eating too much of these nutrients when you are already at high risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood glucose, could further increase risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even some cancers. Using GDAs as a guide to how much energy and key nutrients are required for a healthy diet and following them on the long term could even help reduce overall risk of these unwanted conditions.

Those who take part in extensive activity, those who are not active at all, pregnant and breast feeding mothers and those on a special diet for whatever reason, will need to seek more particular nutrition advice for their needs.

If you have any specific queries or concerns about your diet it is advised you speak to your doctor, practice nurse or registered dietitian as they will be able to give you individual advice and guide you in the right direction. To find a registered dietitian contact the British Dietetic Association.