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Food Claims – Part I: Sugar, Calories, Fat, Cholesterol & Sodium

Everywhere we turn in the grocery store, we see foods that make all these health claims: “Sugar Free, Calorie Free, Fat Free, Zero Cholesterol, Reduced Salt…”

The list goes on and on.

So what does this all mean? What’s the difference between “low in fat” versus “reduced fat”? Well, luckily I got a nifty handout at the recent Ideal Protein Super Weekend that helps break is all down. The actual handout is copyrighted, but I’ve shared the details below (along with some real life examples!).

SUGAR CLAIMS

sugar-free1

Sugar Free, Zero Sugar, No Sugar, Without Sugar, Negligible Source of Sugar, Trivial Source of Sugar, Dietarily Insignificant Source of Sugar = less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving. Surprise! NOT sugar free.

CALORIE CLAIMS

Miracle Whip

Calorie Free, Zero Calories, No Calories, Without Calories, Trivial Source of Calories, Negligible Source of Calories, Dietarily Insignificant Source of Calories = Less than five calories per serving.

Low in Calories, Few Calories, Contains a Small Amount of Calories, Low Source of Calories = Less than 40 calories per serving.

Reduced Calories, Fewer Calories = 25 percent fewer calories than the original product. CAUTION: The original product may not be “low calorie,” so cutting 25 percent may mean it is still a high-calorie food!Light, Lite = Meets definition for “low calorie” or “low fat,” which is less than 40 calories per serving or less than three grams of fat.

FAT CLAIMS

pop-tart

Fat Free, Zero Fat, No Fat, Without Fat, Trivial Source of Fat, Negligible Source of Fat, Dietarily Insignificant Source of Fat = Less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving. Again, not fat free… picking up the trend?

Low in Fat, Less Fat, Contains a Small Amount of Fat, Low Source of Fat = Less than three grams of fat per serving.

Reduced Fat, Less Fat = At least 25 percent less fat per serving than the original food item. CAUTION: The original product may not be “low fat,” so cutting 25 percent may mean it is still a high fat food.

SATURATED FAT CLAIMS

gortons

Saturated Fat Free, Zero Saturated Fat, No Saturated Fat, Without Saturated Fat, Trivial Source of Saturated Fat, Negligible Source of Saturated Fat, Dietarily Insignificant Source of Saturated Fat = Less than 0.5 grams of saturated fat and less than 0.5 of trans fatty acids per serving.

Low in Saturated Fat, Less Saturated Fat, Low Source of Saturated Fat, Contains a Small Amount of Saturated Fat  = 1 gram of saturated fat or less per serving and 15 percent less calories from saturated fat.

Reduced Saturated Fat, Less Saturated Fat = At least 25 percent less saturated fat per serving than the original food item. CAUTION: The original product may not be “low saturated fat,” so cutting 25 percent may mean the food is still high in saturated fat.

CHOLESTEROL CLAIMS

cheerios-000453

Cholesterol Free, Zero Cholesterol, No Cholesterol, Without Cholesterol, Trivial Source of Cholesterol, Negligible Source of Cholesterol, Dietary Insignificant Source of Cholesterol = Less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol per serving.

Low in Cholesterol, Less Cholesterol, Contains a Small Amount of Cholesterol, Low Source of Cholesterol = 20 milligrams of cholesterol or less per serving.

Reduced Cholesterol, Less Cholesterol = At least 25 percent less cholesterol per serving than the original item. CAUTION: The original product may not be “low cholesterol,” so cutting 25 percent may mean the food is still high in cholesterol.

SODIUM CLAIMS

ritz

Sodium Free, Salt Free, Zero Sodium, No Sodium, Without Sodium, Trivial Source of Sodium, Negligible Source of Sodium, Dietarily Insignificant Source of Sodium = Less than five milligrams of sodium per serving.

Low in Sodium, Less Sodium, Contains a Small Amount of Sodium, Low Source of Sodium = 140 milligrams of sodium or less per serving.

Reduced Sodium, Less Sodium = At least 25 percent less sodium per serving than the original item. CAUTION: The original product may not be “low sodium,” so cutting 25 percent may mean the food is still high in sodium.

References

“Claims on Labels.” (2015.) Ideal Lifestyle Approach. Retrieved April 25, 2015.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Food Claims – Part II: Meat, Fair Trade, GMO & Organic Produce | The Athlete Afterword

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