Light, Lite, Low? What do the nutrition labels mean?

Food labels may claim the item is light, lite, or low in sugars or fats. What does this mean? The FDA has established guidelines for nutrient descriptives so that manufacturers claims will have meaning. Below are the current FDA guidelines:

Sugar
Sugar free: less than 0.5 grams (g) per serving

No added sugar, Without added sugar, No sugar added:
– No sugars added during processing or packing, including ingredients that contain sugars (for example, fruit juices, applesauce, or dried fruit).
– Processing does not increase the sugar content above the amount naturally present in the ingredients. (A functionally insignificant increase in sugars is acceptable from processes used for purposes other than increasing sugar content.)
– The food that it resembles and for which it substitutes normally contains added sugars.
– If the food doesn?t meet the requirements for a low- or reduced-calorie food, the product bears a statement that the food is not low-calorie or calorie-reduced and directs consumers? attention to the nutrition panel for further information on sugars and calorie content.

Reduced sugar: at least 25 percent less sugar per serving than reference food.

Calories
Calorie free: fewer than 5 calories per serving

Low calorie: 40 calories or less per serving and if the serving is 30 g or less or 2 tablespoons or less, per 50 g of the food.

Reduced or Fewer calories: at least 25 percent fewer calories per serving than reference food.

Fat
Fat free: less than 0.5 g of fat per serving

Saturated fat free: less than 0.5 g per serving and the level of trans fatty acids does not exceed 1 percent of total fat.

Low fat: 3 g or less per serving, and if the serving is 30 g or less or 2 tablespoons or less, per 50 g of the food.

Low saturated fat: 1 g or less per serving and not more than 15 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids.

Reduced or Less fat: at least 25 percent less per serving than reference food.

Reduced or Less saturated fat: at least 25 percent less per serving than reference food.

Sodium
Sodium free: less than 5 mg per serving.

Low sodium: 140 mg or less per serving and, if the serving is 30 g or less or 2 tablespoons or less, per 50 g of the food.

Very low sodium: 35 mg or less per serving and, if the serving is 30 g or less or 2 tablespoons or less, per 50 g of the food.

Reduced or Less sodium: at least 25 percent less per serving than reference food.

Fiber
High fiber: 5 g or more per serving. (Foods making high-fiber claims must meet the definition for low fat, or the level of total fat must appear next to the high-fiber claim.)

Good source of fiber: 2.5 g to 4.9 g per serving.

More or Added fiber: at least 2.5 g more per serving than reference food.

Cholesterol
Cholesterol free: less than 2 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol and 2 g or less of saturated fat per serving.

Low cholesterol: 20 mg or less and 2 g or less of saturated fat per serving and, if the serving is 30 g or less or 2 tablespoons or less, per 50 g of the food.

Reduced or Less cholesterol: at least 25 percent less and 2 g or less of saturated fat per serving than reference food.

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  • random_person67

    this is very hepful thx so much… i needed this real bad =)

  • that one kid

    this didn’t really help me for my science homework… =.( <—-sad face with a mole