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Nutrition Label Claims

By Tiffany Glenn, M.S., R.D.,L.D. Registered Dietitian

Have you ever looked at a nutrition label and wondered what it all means? Nutrient Content
Claims use a variety of descriptive terms on labels. The FDA has made an effort to make
these terms meaningful. Regulations have reduced the number of potentially misleading label
statements making it easier to choose healthier family options.

Here are common claims and their meaning
Free - food contains no amount or trivial amounts
Low - food can be eaten frequently without exceeding dietary guidlines for one or
more of the components below:
Fat free - less than 0.5 g fat/serving
Low fat - 3 g or less/serving

  • Saturated fat free - less than 0.5 g of saturated fat or trans fat/serving
  • Low saturated fat - 1 g or less of saturated fat/serving or no more than 15 percent of calories from saturated fat
  • Cholesterol free - less than 2 mg of cholesterol or 2 g less of saturated fat/serving
  • Low cholesterol - 20 mg or less and 2 g or less of saturated fat/serving
  • Sodium free - less than 5 mg of sodium/serving
  • Low Sodium - 140 mg or less/serving
  • Very low sodium - 35 mg or less/serving
  • Sugar free - less than 0.5 mg of sugar/serving
  • Calorie free - less than 5 calories/serving
  • Low calorie - 40 calories or less/serving

High - food contains 20% or more of the Daily Value for a particular
nutrient/ serving
Good source - food contains 10-19 percent of the Daily Value for a particular
nutrient/serving
Lean or extra lean - describes the fat of meat and main dish products, seafood
and game meat products
Lean - less than 10 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat and less than 95 mg of
cholesterol/serving
Reduced - nutritionally altered food contains at least 25 percent less of a nutrient or
of calories in the regular product
Light - 1/3 less calories or 1/2 the fat of the reference food or sodium has been
reduced by 50 percent

 

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By Tiffany Glenn, M.S., R.D.,L.D. Registered Dietitian
Categories:  Kid's Health & Safety

About the Author

Tiffany Glenn, M.S., R.D.,L.D. Registered Dietitian

Tiffany Glenn, M.S., R.D.,L.D. Registered Dietitian



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