Keywords and Health Claims

by Alison on January 13, 2010

Did you know that foods must meet strict definitions in order for their packaging to include key tersm such as “fat free,” “low-fat,” “lean,” “light,” “cholesterol-free,” “low sodium,” and the like? I didn’t I thought words like light were sort of nebulous.  I knew that to claim a food was “free” of fat or cholesterol or whatever it had to be below a certain amount but I didn’t know the rest.  I am re-reading portions of Maximize Your Body Potential and the author Joyce Nash, PhD goes into these, since the book was published in 2003 I decided to do a bit of research and see if these rules still held and low and behold they do. Here is a link to the FDA Website that gives this information.

CaloriesLow-CalorieNo more than 40 calories in a single serving
Reduced-calorie25% fewer calories than the regular product
Light (Lite)1/3 fewer calories, or a 50% reduction in whatever nutrient is being reduced.
FatFat-FreeLess than 0.5g of fat per serving
Low-Fat3g of fat (or less) per 50 gram portion
LeanLess than 10g of fat (4g saturated) per serving or 3.5 oz
Extra LeanLess than 5g of fat (2g saturated) per serving
SugarSugar-FreeLess than 0.5g of simple sugar (including sucrose, honey, fruit juice)
Reduced-SugarAt least 25% less sugar per serving compared with regular product
CholesterolNo cholesterolNo cholesterol in the product
Cholesterol-FreeLess than 2mg of cholesterol and 2g (or less) saturated fat per serving.
SodiumSodium-FreeLess and 5mg of sodium per serving
Very Low SodiumNo more than 35mg sodium per serving
Low-SodiumNo more than 140mg sodium per serving
Reduced-SodiumAt least 25% less sodium per serving compared to regular product
FiberHigh Fiber5g or more per serving
Good Source of Fiber2.5-4.9g fiber per serving
More, added fiberAt least 2.5g of fiber per serving more than the regular product
Healthy, HealthfulLow in fat and saturated fat; no more than 480mg sodium and 60mg cholesterol; at least 10% of the RDA of certain vitamins and minerals.

There are more but those are the big ones.  Note low fat milk was exempted from the labelling laws by Congress, it does not in fact meet the definition of low fat in the case of 2% milk as it has 5 grams of fat.

I entered Roni’s Souper Duper Contest!
Check out Roni’s Weight Loss Blog for more information.

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 1 comment }

Nicole, RD January 13, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Such valuable information, thanks for posting this!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: