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Reading Labels

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Reading Labels

When walking up and down the aisles of the grocery store, you see color packages loudly proclaiming the contents to be free of or low in calories, fat, sodium, and sugar. But what do these statements really mean? Understanding nutrient content claims can help you to better understand the type of food you are consuming and can assist you in planning and maintaining a nutritious diet.

Nutrient Amounts Per Serving:

  1. A claim of free/zero means it’s less than 5 calories, 0.5 grams of fat or sugar, or under 5 milligrams of sodium.

  2. The distinction of low is when a serving contains under 120 calories, 140 milligrams of sodium, or under 3 grams of fat comply with this standard; there is no set FDA regulation for the claim of low sugar.

  3. Reduced/Less is determined by a relationship where one food contains 25% or fewer of the listed nutrient when compared with a similar referenced food. For example, reduced fat chips have a lower fat content when compared to regular chips of the same brand and flavor

These are just a few things to look for when you are shopping for food. Leave a comment in the box below if you have any additional things to look out for when trying to understand nutrient claims.

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