1. Health claims are used to announce disease or health-related prevention properties provided by that food item.
2. Nutrient content claims are used to express the amount of a nutrient in a food item or compare the amount of a nutrient in that food item versus another food item.
3. Structure/function claims are mainly used on dietary supplements to describe how that product impacts the structure or function of the human body.
Here are each of the claims and what they mean:
Calorie free —< 5 calories per serving
Low calorie —40 calories or less per serving
Reduced calorie—At least 25% less calories than the original food item per serving
These foods you need to consume these food items according to their serving size or else the calories will add up with multiple servings.
Next up we have the sugars:
Sugar free —< 0.5g of sugar per serving
Reduced or less sugar —At least 25% less sugar than the original food item per serving
No added sugar — No sugar or sugar-containing ingredient was added during processing or packaging
Most sugar free items are supplemented with sugar alcohols and can cause water retention or diarrhea. No added sugar does not mean there’s no sugar in the product, an ingredient may contain sugar naturally (i.e. fruit).
Fat free: < 0.5g of fat per serving
Low fat : 3g of fat or less per serving
Reduced or less fat: At least 25% less fat than the original food item per serving
Low in Saturated Fat : At least 25% less fat than the original food item per serving
Lean : < 10g of fat, 4.5g of saturated fat and 95mg of cholesterol per serving
Extra Lean : < 5g of fat, 2g of saturated fat and 95mg of cholesterol per serving
Light (lite) : At least 25% less fat than the original food item per serving
No trans fat: < 0.5g of trans fat per serving
Most items lower in fat commonly have more added sugars to make up for the lack of flavor and texture (and vice versa with sugar free food items - more fat is added). Always look at the nutrition facts and compare it to the original product, the original may be the better and tastier option.
Cholesterol free: < 2mg of cholesterol per serving.
Low cholesterol : < 20mg of cholesterol per serving.
Reduced cholesterol: At least 25% less cholesterol than the original food item per serving.
You must consume these food items according to their serving size or else the cholesterol will add up with multiple servings.
How about the sodiums:
Sodium: or salt free: < 5mg of sodium per serving.
Very low sodium: 35mg of sodium or less per serving.
Low sodium: 140mg of sodium or less per serving.
Reduced or less sodium: At least 25% less sodium than the original food item per serving
Light (Lite) in sodium: At least 50% less sodium than the original food item per serving.
Lightly salted: 50% less sodium than the originally added
No salt added or unsalted: No salt added during processing.
If the food item states that it has no added salt, if it is not sodium free due to food items naturally having sodium in them, it must also list “not a sodium free food” or “not for control of sodium in the diet”. Beware of this if you are on a sodium restricted diet!
And how about the fibers:
High Fiber or Excellent Source of Fiber: At least 5g of fiber per serving or 20% or more of the Daily Value (DV) for fiber
Good Source of Fiber: 10-19% of the Daily Value (DV) for fiber.
Whole Grain: 51% or more whole grain ingredients per weight and must be low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Daily Value (DV%): this is based on how much of a % percent this food items offers towards a 2000 calorie diet. Look for the Whole Grains Council stamp to recognize these types of foods. Beware of the Multigrain claim, it has no actual validity to it. Foods with this claim does not have to contain ANY whole grains and can simply be a dyed food product to look like a whole grain product.
Can’t leave out the organics/GMos:
100% Organic : Everything in the food items besides water and salt must be organic
Organic: Must contain 95% of organic ingredients.
Made with Organic: At least 70% of the ingredients are organic
Non-GMO - GMO means Genetically Modified Organism: Non-GMO means food items that have NOT been genetically altered to be bigger in size or drought/pesticide resistent.
The best way to know if a product is truly organic, is to look for the organic seals. Look for the Non GMO project verified seal.
*Golden Rule: ALWAYS read the nutrition facts and ingredients labels to have the greatest understanding of the nutrients and quality of food you are putting in your body!
maybe print this out and put it on your fridge!!
Produced by Balanced Habits RD Andrea Marincovich