Food Label Terms and Their Meanings
Low Calorie: Allowed to contain only 40 calories per serving or a maximum of four calories per gram
Reduced Calorie: Must have at least one-third fewer calories than the original product and should include a comparison of both versions.
Diet or Dietetic: The product may be lower in calories, sodium or sugar.
Light or Lite: This term can have any meaning the manufacturer wants to use it for, such as a relation to taste, texture, color or may have a lowered calorie fat or sodium content.
No Cholesterol: Means that the item has no cholesterol but may still be high in saturated fats which may assist the body to produce cholesterol.
Low Fat: When pertaining to dairy products, they must only contain between 0.45 and 2 percent fat by weight.
Extra Lean: Usually pertains to meat and poultry. They must have no more than 5 percent fat by weight.
Lean: Usually pertains to meat and poultry. They must have no more than 10 percent fat by weight.
Leaner: Usually pertains to meat and poultry. Must have at least 25 percent less fat than the standard.
Sugar free or Sugarless: Should contain no table sugar but still may contain some of the following: honey, corn syrup, sorbitalor fructose. Most of which are just other forms of sugar and still high in calories.
Sodium Free: Should contain less than 5mg per serving.
Very Low Sodium: Contains 35mg or less per serving.
Reduced Sodium: The normal level of sodium in the product has been reduced by at least 75 percent.
No Salt Added: Salt has not been added during the unsalted processing. The food may still have other ingredients that contain sodium.
Imitation: A food which is a substitute for another food and is usually nutritionally inferior. May still contain the same number of calories and fat.
Organic: May pertain to almost anything. Usually means a food that is grown without the use of artificial fertilizers.
Natural: May mean anything, no regulations apply and may be seen on foods that have additives and preservatives.
Enriched: A degraded, processed product that if fortified has nutrients added back in.
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