*Saturated fat free: Less than 1/2 gram saturated fat in a serving; levels of trans fatty acids must be not more than 1 percent of total fat.
**Low saturated fat: 1 gram saturated fat or less in a serving and 15 percent or less of calories from saturated fat. For a meal or main dish (like a frozen dinner): 1 gram saturated fat or less in 100 grams of food and less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat.
*Cholesterol free: Less than 2 milligrams (mg) cholesterol in a serving; saturated fat content must be 2 grams or less in a serving.
**Low cholesterol: 20 mg cholesterol or less in a serving; saturated fat content must be 2 grams or less in a serving. For a meal or main dish: 20 mg cholesterol or less in 100 grams of food, with saturated fat content less than 2 grams in 100 grams of food.
*Fat free: Less than 1/2 gram fat in a serving.
**Low fat: 3 grams total fat or less in a serving. For a meal or main dish: 3 grams total fat or less in 100 grams of food and not more than 30 percent calories from fat.
Percent fat free--A food with this claim must also meet the low fat claim.
*Calorie free: Less than 5 calories in a serving.
**Low calorie: 40 calories or less in a serving.
*Sodium free: Less than 5 mg sodium in a serving.
**Low sodium: 140 mg sodium or less in a serving. For a meal or main dish: 140 mg sodium or less in 100 grams of food.
Very low sodium: 35 mg sodium or less in a serving.
*Words that mean the same thing as free:
"no," "zero," "without," "trivial
source of," "negligible source of," and "dietary
insignificant source of."
**Words that mean the same thing as low: "contains a small amount of" and "low source of."
- Light -- A product has been changed to
have half the fat or one-third fewer calories than the regular product; or
the sodium in a low calorie, low fat food has been cut by 50 percent; or a
meal or main dish is low fat or low calorie.
"Light" also may be used to describe things like the color or texture of a food, as long as the label explains this: for example, "light brown sugar" or "light and fluffy."
- Reduced/Less/Lower/Fewer--A food
(like a lower-fat hot dog or a lower-sodium cracker) has at least 25
percent less of something like calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol,
or sodium than the regular food or a similar food to which it is compared.
- Lean and Extra Lean--Two
terms--"lean" and "extra lean"--are used to describe
the fat content of meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish.
- Lean--Less than 10 grams fat, 4.5
grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 mg cholesterol in a
- Extra lean--Less than 5 grams fat, less than 2 grams saturated fat, and less than 95 mg cholesterol in a serving.
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Last Editorial Review: 7/9/2002