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Question: What does low fat or reduced calorie really mean?


Quick Answer:

...Low fat means there are 3 grams or less of fat per serving. Reduced calorie means there are 25 percent fewer calories per serving than the comparison food.

Expanded Answer:

Get into a habit of reading the labels on food.  They may contain messages, such as “Low Fat” or “Reduced Calorie,” on the front of the package. The FDA provides these important guidelines.

Following are definitions for commonly used terms on food packaging:

  1. Fat-free = less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving, with no added fat or oil.
  2. Low fat = 3 grams or less of fat per serving.
  3. Less fat = 25% or less fat than the comparison food.
  4. Saturated fat free = Less than 0.5 grams of saturated fat and 0.5 grams of trans-fatty acids per serving.
  5. Cholesterol-free = less than 2 mg cholesterol per serving and 2 grams or less saturated fat per serving.
  6. Low cholesterol = 20 mg or less cholesterol per serving and 2 grams or less saturated fat per serving.
  7. Reduced calorie = at least 25 percent fewer calories per serving than the comparison food.
  8. Low calorie = 40 calories or less per serving.
  9. Extra lean = less than 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, and 95 mg of cholesterol per a 100 gram serving of meat, poultry or seafood.
  10. Lean = less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 g of saturated fat, and 95 mg of cholesterol per a 100 gram serving of meat, poultry or seafood.
  11. Light (fat) = 50 percent or less of the fat than in the comparison food.
  12. Light (calories = one-third fewer calories than the comparison food.
  13. High fiber = 5 grams or more fiber per serving.
  14. Sugar-free = less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving.
  15. Sodium-free (salt-free) = less than 5 mg of sodium per serving.
  16. Low sodium = 140 mg or less per serving.
  17. Very low sodium = 35 mg or less per serving.
Categories: Nutrition, Guidelines






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