This guide will help you understand the nutritional information on our recipes (and work out how many cookies you can get away with eating!)

Image: Nutritional Information

Via: Sainsbury's

Traffic light nutrition

At the bottom of every recipe on and on the front of all Sainsbury's packaging you'll find a 'traffic light' label displaying the the amount of energy, fat, saturates, sugars and salt that a serving of the recipe or food provides.


At a glance, you can see whether a serving contains high (red), medium (amber) or low (green) amounts of fat, saturates, sugars and salt. You’ll find more detailed nutrition information in the table on the back of food packaging, and the ingredients list on the back of packs will highlight any relevant allergens too.


To make healthier choices, look for foods and recipes that have more green and amber and very few red traffic lights. Here are some healthier recipes to get you started. Sainsbury’s has several ranges that have very few, if any, red multiple traffic lights, including our 'be good to yourself' and 'my goodness' ranges.

Nutriion lozenge

What are Reference Intakes?

Reference Intakes (RIs) are a guide to the maximum amounts of calories, fat, saturates, sugars and salt an adult should consume in a day (based on an average female adult). They were formerly known as Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs).

The traffic light label shows what percentage of RIs a serving provides, helping you balance your diet. One serving is based on one adult serving or, if the recipe makes something individual, one biscuit, cookie or cupcake, for example.

Check out our 500-calorie meal plans for healthier cooking inspiration. 


The daily reference intake values are as follows:

Nutrition         Reference Intake (RI)

Energy kJ        8400

Energy kcal     2000

Fat (g)             70

of which Saturates (g)   20

Carbohydrate (g)    260

Sugars (g)       90

Protein (g)      50

Salt (g)            6

How can I compare recipes?

Underneath the 'traffic light' label, you'll also find 'typical values per 100g'. This tells you how many calories there are in 100g of the food or drink, making it easy to compare different recipes across the site. 


Where ingredients include pre-prepared products such as jars of sauces, we've calculated the nutritional content using the most appropriate Sainsbury's product.

5 a day

Research suggests that eating five portions of fruit and veg a day can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Fruit and veg contain essential vitamins and minerals and are generally lower in fat and calories, so they can help you maintain a healthier weight as part of a balanced diet. Our 5 a day logo makes it easy to count your five a day and clearly states the number of portions per serving.


Try to eat at least three portions of veg and two portions of fruit every day. Fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juiced fruit and veg, beans and pulses all count. However, dried fruit and fruit juice only count as 1 of your 5 a day, no matter how many portions you eat.


One portion is 80g fresh, frozen or canned fruit or veg (eg one apple, seven strawberries or half a pepper); 30g dried fruit; 3 heaped tbsp beans and pulses; or 150ml 100% fruit or veg juice or smoothie.

Traffic light nutrition

Five essential tips to ensure good food hygiene in the kitchen

1. As bacteria can be picked up from many sources, it’s so important to always wash your hands thoroughly with soap before food preparation. If you’re handling raw ingredients, it’s as equally important to wash your hands after prep too. Make sure you clean between your fingers and under your fingernails, and dry your hands thoroughly on a clean towel.


2. Cross-contamination is a major cause of food poisoning. Always keep raw foods separate from ready-to-eat foods when you’re preparing meals – use separate chopping boards and utensils or wash them thoroughly between use. Wash or replace cloths, sponges and other cleaning utensils frequently, as bacteria thrive on them.


3. Most chickens contain a bacteria called campylobacter – the number one cause of food poisoning. Washing raw chicken spreads bacteria around the kitchen via tiny splashes, which increases the risk of cross-contamination to other foods.


4. The best way to kill potentially harmful bacteria in chicken or turkey is by cooking it properly. Cook it until it’s piping hot throughout and no pink colour remains in the flesh. To check it’s cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the bird. The juice should run clear. Check out our ultimate roast dinner scrapbook for some great chicken and turkey recipes. 


5. To avoid cross-contamination, cover raw meat and poultry and store at the bottom of the fridge, separate from ready-to-eat food. Your fridge temperature should be between 0 and 5°C.