There is a standardized definition developed by the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for every low-this and reduced-that on the food labels. Below are some of the more common label lingo and the nutritional information that it represents.
- Sugar-free: Contains less than 0.5gm of sugar per serving.
- Calorie-free: Contains fewer than five calories per serving.
- Low-calorie: contains 40 or fewer calories per serving.
- Reduced-calorie: Contains 25 percent fewer calories than the regular product.
- Fat-free: contains less than 0.5gm of fat per serving.
- Low-fat: Contains three grams or less of fat per serving.
- Reduced-fat: Contains no more than 75 percent of the fat found in regular versions or comparable food.
- Light or lite: contains one-third fewer calories or half the fat of the regular food.
- Cholesterol-free: Contains less than two milligrams of cholesterol and two grams or less of saturated fat per serving.
- Low-cholesterol: Contains 20 milligrams or less of cholesterol, 2 grams or less of saturated fat, and 13 grams or less of total fat per serving.
- Reduced-cholesterol: Contains 75 percent or less of the cholesterol found in the regular food and two grams or less of saturated fat per serving.
- Sodium-free: Contains less than five milligrams of sodium per serving.
- Very low sodium: Contains less than 35 milligrams of sodium per serving.
- Low-sodium: Contains 140 milligrams or less of sodium per serving.
- Reduced-sodium: Contains no more than 75 percent of the sodium found in the regular food.
- Extra-lean: Refers to meat, seafood, or poultry that has less than two grams of saturated fat, less than five grams of total fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 3 oz serving.
- Lean: Refers to meat, seafood, or poultry that has 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, less than 10 grams of total fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 3 oz serving.
- High in: Supplies 20 percent or more of the Daily Value (DV) of a given nutrient per serving.
- Good source of: Supplies 10 to 19 percent of the DV of a given nutrient per serving.
- Fresh: Refers to a food that is raw, that has not been processed, frozen, or heated, and that contains no preservatives.
- Freshly: Refers to a food that has been made recently; may be used with "baked".
~~Women's Edge, Food Smart by Susan G. Berg and the
Editors of Prevention Health Books for Women