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Label Able: Label Claims

Reading labels can be tough, especially since they are often misleading and the flashy packaging can be distracting. As consumers we just want to find out what we're putting in our bodies, so it's important to know what the label claims are telling you aside from just the nutritional information. Some food labels make claims such as "low cholesterol" or "low fat," but what does that even mean anyway? Well these claims can only be used if a food meets strict government definitions. Curious what claims on your food labels mean? Just


Here are a few more commonly used claims and what they mean:

Label Claim Definition (per standard serving size)
Fat-free* or sugar-free Less than 0.5 gram (g.) of fat or sugar
Low fat 3 g. of fat or less
Reduced fat or reduced sugar At least 25% less fat or sugar
Cholesterol free Less than 2 milligrams (mg.) cholesterol and 2 g. or less of saturated fat
Reduced cholesterol At least 25% less cholesterol and 2 g. or less of saturated fat
Calorie free Less than 5 calories
Low calorie 40 calories or less
Light or lite 1/3 fewer calories or 50% less fat


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