Food Labels

Reading food labels will help you learn the facts behind the claims and speed you through the nutritional express lane.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of some specific terms for nutrient content claims with guidelines for their use. To help you better plan your diet and understand what you are eating, pay attention to these nutrition buzzwords:

  • More -- A serving contains at least 10 percent more than the daily value of a nutrient
  • Less -- A serving contains 25 percent less of a nutrient or calories than the food mentioned in the claim
  • High -- A food contains 20 percent or more of the daily value for a particular nutrient
  • Low -- The food may be eaten frequently without exceeding the dietary guidelines for fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and calories
  • Light -- A version that has one-third fewer calories, and sodium is reduced by 50 percent
  • Reduced -- A food has at least 25 percent less of a nutrient or calories than the referenced food, provided that food does not itself meet the requirement for a low claim