Crack the Code

Everything you need to know - ingredients, additives, nutrition, dates - about what's what on a food label

Learn how to decipher what's on a food label, how to make sense of the list of ingredients, find the additives and their code numbers, and interpret the nutrition information panel.

Become a pro and spot the marketing hype and how it can be verified when you see "all natural" or "light" or "high in fibre" or "wholegrains" on a food pack.

There is a wealth of information on a food label as long as you know how to interpret it. It’s like a secret code. You just need a way to CRACK THE CODE.

Your Instructor

Catherine Saxelby
Catherine Saxelby

Hi! I’m Catherine Saxelby - a university-qualified dietitian and nutritionist of over 25 years. I understand the ins and outs of food, diets and nutrition.

I’ve taught hundreds of people - adults and teens - how to de-code a food label as well the basics of eating for health and weight loss diets.

The author of over 2000 articles and 10 books covering just about every aspect of healthy eating, dieting and weight loss.

My books include best selling titles such as Nutrition for Life and the Food and Nutrition Companion. I run the popular nutrition website Foodwatch. Don't forget to subscribe :)

Most importantly, as a mother I have done an awful lot of cooking from everyday meals for the family to bulk dishes for volunteers. I've taught kids how to cook simple meals and how to modify recipes for medical diets like gluten-free and salt-free.

You don’t need a degree in nutrition or food technology. You just need the right information to crack the food code yourself.


Who is this e-course for?

This is an e-course designed to teach everyday shoppers (not health professionals) how to interpret the front and back of an Australian or New Zealand food label.

If you’re seeking healthier options, but have little time to read the labels when doing the supermarket shop, this is for you. You’ll get those short-cuts and easy rules-of-thumb to guide you when shopping.

The Crack the Code e-course is built as a step-by-step beginner’s guide that’s in plain English and won’t overwhelm you with legal-speak.

There are videos for every lesson as well as downloadable handouts, slides and bonus check sheets so you can learn at your own pace and in your preferred format.


What's the benefit for me?

In the Crack the Code course, you will:

  • Understand what’s what on a food label
  • Check if the claims on the front really do stack up
  • Spot hidden allergens and additives
  • Find where sugar or salt or additives are hiding
  • Be able to navigate those market aisles in a way that will serve you, not make it hard.

What you'll learn

Over 6 individual lessons, including slide-decks, videos handouts and Example Label image files. Overall you will understand:

  • What a food label is designed to do
  • The key elements of a food label and where to find them
  • How to ‘read around’ the advertising on the label
  • How to tell the difference between marketing hype and what’s really in that food
  • The ingredients and additives that are best avoided for optimal health
  • Learn all the ‘rules’ and what manufacturers can legally say on a label

What you learn - each Lesson in detail:

1. Crack the Dates

What’s a Use-by date?

What’s a Best-before date?

What’s the difference between Use-by and Best-before?

What’s a Baked-on date?

2. Crack the Nutrition Panel

What’s the Panel helpful for?

Understanding the Panel:

The 6 rows down

The 3 columns across

Energy and 4 key nutrients on display

Checking the Per 100g column

Checking the Per serve column

When to use the Per Serving, when to use Per 100g

Test yourself with everyday food examples

Kilojoules or Calories?

Sugar – added sugar vs natural sugars

Nutrients – what’s high, what’s low

How much do I need: protein, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, dietary fibre, sodium

3. Crack the Claims

Claims on the front grab your attention - but don’t let them mislead you

Examples of claims made eg high-fibre, no added sugar, salt-reduced, Baked not Fried.

Purity claims eg No artificial flavours or colours, No preservatives, Natural, Real,

Free-from claims eg 99% fat-free, No MSG, No gluten, No lactose, No wheat, No added salt

14 most common food claims and how to double-check them:

- Light or Lite

- 99% fat-free

- No cholesterol or cholesterol-free

- Low fat

- High fibre or Good source of fibre

- Salt-free or No-added-salt or Low-salt

- Baked not fried

- No artificial colours or flavours

- Good source of protein

- No added sugar

- Source of Omega-3s

- Source of vitamin C

Test yourself with everyday food examples

4. Crack the Ingredients

Understanding the List of ingredients - how it works

The order of the List, the importance of the FIRST 3 ingredients

Where additives fit in and how they're included - by code number or by chemical name (brief, more in Lecture 5)

Examples of Ingredient Lists from easy to complex eg canned corn, creamed corn, crispbread, wholemeal bread, salad dressing

Sugar, salt and fat: what to look for, their other names

Test yourself with everyday food examples

Allergens to watch for

What is a characterising ingredient e.g. percentage of apricots in apricot jam

5. Crack the Additives

What are additives? Why are they used

What are their functions? The key categories of additives

How additives appear on the Ingredient List - code numbers and chemical names

Sample Ingredient List with the additives explained – Dijon mustard

Colours and why they’re a problem

Examining the Southampton Study: how 6 artificial colours are being phased out

Preservatives and why they're a problem

4 tips and tools to avoid additives

Test yourself with everyday food examples

6. Crack the Code

How reading a label can help you

A handy overview of what’s what on a label

The 10 essential things that must be on a food label

Examples: Brand or Description or Technical name

Who’s in charge of the food label? Who sets the rules?

What foods are exempt?

Test yourself with everyday food examples

Education is empowerment

Read the label right



30 Day Money-back Guarantee

If you would like to join me, there is no risk and a 30 day money-back guarantee.

I want to make sure that the Crack the Code eCourse is right for you. If you sign up, you have 30 days to download it and if it's not the right fit, just email me and I'll give you a full refund. No questions asked.

If you'd like to join the course, you can pay now A$49 (equal to US$37). Just scroll down and Enroll now.

As soon as you join, you will have lifetime access to the course materials, including anything added in the future.

If you have any questions about the course, please email [email protected]

Enroll Now

Course Curriculum

  1 Crack the Dates
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  2 Crack the Nutrition Panel
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  4 Crack the Ingredients
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  5 Crack the Additives
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  6 Crack the Code (Overview)
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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and is designed to be completed in 6 weeks - if you do one Lesson a week. But it is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish. So enrol now and give yourself the time to work through it as and when you can.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
I would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact me in the first 30 days and I will give you a full refund.
How will my payment appear?
Your payment will appear on your credit card as FOODWATCH NUTRI NY as is based in New York in the US.

Next time you go shopping, you'll be a master at working out what's what on that label! Start today to get the real story.

Get started now!