What the Claims Mean

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What the Claims Mean

Nutrition
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Healthy Eating
What the Claims Mean
What the Claims Mean
htmJHENutrition.34080
Understanding the labels.
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InteliHealth
2011-12-02
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InteliHealth Medical Content
2014-12-02

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

What the Claims Mean

The following glossary of food label terms provides the government definitions of terms used on food labels and packages. The list will help you decipher what a food label tells you about the food.

Calorie-free: A serving contains less than 5 calories

Cholesterol-free: A serving contains less than 2 mg cholesterol and 2 g or less saturated fat

"A good source of " (a juice label, for example, that claims the product is "A Good Source of Vitamin C".) A serving contains 10% to 19% of the Daily Value for a given nutrient.

Daily Value (DV): The recommended daily intake of a specific nutrient based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Excellent source of; Rich in; or High: A serving provides at least 20% of the Daily Value for the claimed nutrient.

Extra, Added, or More: a serving contains at least 10% of the DV of a particular nutrient when compared with a similar food.

Extra lean: Cooked meat, poultry or seafood contains less than 5 g total fat, less than 2 g saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per serving.

Fat-free: A serving contains less than 0.5 (1/2) g of fat.

Gram (g): A metric unit of weight equal to about 1/28th of an ounce.

Healthy: To be labeled healthy, a food must meet the standards for low fat and low saturated fat and not exceed maximum levels for sodium and cholesterol. The product must also provide at least 10% of the Daily Value for at least one of the following nutrients: protein, fiber, vitamins A and C, iron or calcium. In addition, all raw fruits and vegetables (whether they meet the 10% standard or not), plain frozen fruits and vegetables (with no sauces or seasonings) and enriched grain products can claim to be "healthy."

High in fiber: A serving contains at least 5 g total fiber.

Lean: A serving contains less than 10 g total fat, less than 4 g saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol.

Light or Lite: A serving contains one-third fewer calories or 50% less fat than a similar product. If more than half the calories are from fat, fat must be reduced by 50% or more.

Low-calorie: A serving contains no more than 40 calories.

Low-cholesterol: A serving contains no more than 20 mg of cholesterol and 2 g of saturated fat.

Low-fat: A serving contains no more than 3 g of fat.

Low-sodium: A serving contains no more than 140 mg sodium.

Milligram (mg): A metric unit of weight that measures one thousandth of a gram.

Reduced cholesterol: A serving contains at least 25% less cholesterol than a similar product and 2 g or less saturated fat.

Reduced fat: A serving contains at least one-third less fat than the same amount of a similar product.

Sodium-free: A serving contains less than 5 mg sodium.

Very low sodium: A serving contains 35 mg of sodium or less.

 

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Last updated June 23, 2014


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