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FDA labeling definitions and nutrient content claims


An example of a "low fat" food

Have you ever wondered what "low fat" or "high in fiber" actually means? Below is a list of definitions of nutrient claims that are commonly used on foods. 

Free: none or only a negligible amount of the substance it is describing(fat, saturated fat, sodium, sugar, calories, trans fat), for example - calorie free means having less than 5 calories per serving

Low fat: 3 grams or less per serving

Low sodium: no more than 35 milligrams per serving

Very low sodium: no more than 35 milligrams per serving

Lean: fewer than 10 grams of fat and no more than 4.5 grams of saturated fat and fewer than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving

Extra lean: fewer than 5 grams of fat, fewer than 2 grams of saturated fat, and fewer than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving

High: contains 20 percent or more of the Daily Value for particular nutrient

Good source: contains at least 10 percent of the Daily Value for particular nutrient

Reduced: contains 25 percent less of something (fat, calories, sugar, etc) than the regular product

Light: contains 1/3 less calories than or half the fat of regular product, or can be used to describe a food's color or texture as long as the label explains intent. 

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