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What do food label terms mean?

Ximena Jimenez
Nutrition & Dietetics

These are some nutrient content claims:

  • Free: The product contains only small amounts or no amount of one or more of the nutrients fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugars and calories.
  • Low: Is used for foods that can be consumed regularly without exceeding dietary guidelines for fat, cholesterol, sodium and calories
  • Lean: Used for meat, poultry and seafood and means less than 10 grams fat and 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat.
  • Extra lean is used for meat with less than 5 grams of fat and 2 grams of saturated fat
  • High: When a specific nutrient is  20% or more of the Daily Value in a food
  • Good Source: When a specific nutrient is 10 to 19 % of the Daily value in one food.

 

Kelly Traver
Internal Medicine

Following are some of the food label terms:

  • Fat-free: Product has less than 1/2 gram of fat per serving.
  • 99% fat-free: Every 100 grams of food will have 1 gram or less of fat.
  • Low-fat: Product has 3 grams or less of fat per serving.
  • Reduced-fat: Fat has been reduced by at least 25% when compared with a similar food product.
  • Light: Product has 33% fewer calories or 50% less fat per serving than a comparable product.
  • Lean: Used for meat and poultry only. Product has less than 10 grams of fat, less than 4 grams of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving.
  • Low-calorie: Product has 40 calories or fewer per serving.
  • Saturated fat free: Product has less than 0.5 gram of saturated fat per serving.
  • Trans fat free: Product has less than 0.5 gram of trans fat per serving.
  • Low in saturated fat: Product has 1 gram or less of saturated fat per serving.
  • Cholesterol-free: Product has less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol per serving.
  • Low-cholesterol: Product has less than 20 milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams of saturated fat per serving.
  • Sodium-free: Product has less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving.
  • Very low sodium: Product has 35 milligrams or less of sodium per serving.
  • Low-sodium: Product has 140 milligrams or less of sodium per serving.
  • Good source of: Used for fiber, protein, vitamins, or minerals. Product has at least 10% of the Daily Value of a particular nutrient.
  • High in (Excellent source of): Used for fiber, protein, vitamins, or minerals. Product has at least 20% of the Daily Value of a particular nutrient.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.