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How Does SWAP Work?

Foods are groups into three colour categories: green, yellow, and red based on their nutrient levels of saturated (bad) fat, sugars, and sodium (salt).

Excess intake of these 3 nutrients is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, anxiety and depression, and some cancers 


By identifying food colour category, SWAP provides visual cues to promote selecting healthy choices - green category items often, yellow category sometimes, and red category rarely.

Nutrition Facts labels on cans and packages show the Percentage of Daily Recommended Value the item has in saturated fats, sugar, and sodium.

  • Green – all nutrition facts are between 0%-5%

  • Yellow  if any of the nutrition facts are between 6%-14%

  • Red – if any of the nutrition facts are 15% and up


In this label example, a one-cup serving contains 0% saturated fat, 22% sugar, and 0% sodium. Based on these values, the product falls into the red category and should be consumed sparingly or chosen rarely.

Our staff and volunteers have reviewed our commonly available products, categorized them according to the colour groups (green, yellow, and red) and will be labeling shelves over the next weeks to provide visual cues on healthier choices.

SWAP was developed by the Institute for Hunger Research & Solutions at Connecticut Food Bank/Foodshare.

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