Defining Food Label Claims

Author: Joe Sage, NASM-CPT, FNS, WLS, CES
Have you ever looked at a package of food that has all these labels stating a food to be free of this, or high in that? Have you ever wondered what exactly these phases mean, or what it takes for these claims to be a on a food’s packaging? Let’s dissect some of these and get to their true meaning.

Keep in mind all of these definitions are per serving of a food:

* Calorie-free: Less than 5 calories
* Fat-free:
Less than .5 grams
* Cholesterol-free:
Less than 2 milligrams and 2 grams or less of saturated fat
* Sodium-fee:
Less than 5 milligrams
* Sugar-free:
Less than .5 grams
* Low-calorie:
40 calories or less
* Low-cholesterol:
20 milligrams or less and 2 grams or less of saturated fat
* Low-fat:
3 grams or less
* Low saturated-fat:
1 gram or less; no more than 15% of calories from saturated fat
* Low-sodium:
140 milligrams or less
* Very low-sodium:
35 milligrams or less
* Lean:
Less than 10 grams fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams cholesterol
* Extra lean:
Less than 5 grams fat, less than 2 grams saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams cholesterol
* High:
20% or more of the Daily Value for a particular nutrient (fiber, vitamins, and minerals).

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