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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


Join The Conversation
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
This is good. I tend to shy away from reading these sometimes misleading labels and go for the acutal nutrition label to make my choices. Ice cream is the most sneaky with this. I find that Low Fat and Reduced Fat Ice cream will be either similar in fat content but then the sugar may be way off. Some may think the Low Fat would be better for you but sometimes it really isn't. :(
ccsugar ccsugar 9 years
Good info! I have a question, how come on some diet pops it says "low-calorie" but on the label it's listed as 0 calories? That always confused me.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
That is good to know. Thanks Fit that is super helpful :)
Tiny-Bubble Tiny-Bubble 9 years
Fitsugar, can you do an article on what to watch out for with the claim as well? For example, fat-free ice cream usu. has more sugar to make it taste better. Low fat food is usu. high in sodium to make up for it. Stuff like that. I read about that somewhere but have lost the article.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
Take your own dietary needs into consideration as well because, for most people, eating low fat foods just makes you hungrier quicker. where as the "fatty" (read: non-low-fat) version is more filling and you will probably eat less of it.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Good to know...
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