Making Sense of Food Labels
Part of the Lowfat Cooking For Dummies Cheat Sheet
Food labels can be pretty confusing if you don't know how to read them. If you're trying to cut down on fat in your diet, label reading is essential because the label lists the exact amount of fat and other nutrients in a product. But, how do you make sense of it all? Make sure you know these label terms to help with your lowfat eating plan:
Extra lean: Can be used to describe the fat content of meat, game meat, poultry, and seafood. Less than 5 grams fat, less than 2 grams saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams cholesterol per RACC (Reference Amount Customarily Consumed) and per 100 grams.
Lean: Can be used to describe the fat content of meat, game meat, poultry, and seafood. Less than 10 grams fat, less than 4.5 grams saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams cholesterol per RACC and per 100 grams.
Fresh: Can be used only on raw food that has never been frozen or heated and has no preservatives.
Low: May be used on foods that can be eaten frequently without exceeding dietary guidelines. Per labeled serving and per RACC, these amounts are defined as:
Low calorie: 40 calories or less
Low cholesterol: Less than 20 milligrams of cholesterol (cholesterol claims are only allowed when saturated fat is 2 grams or less)
Lowfat: 3 grams or less of fat
Low saturated fat: 1 gram or less of saturated fat and 15 percent or less of calories from saturated fat
Low sodium: Less than 140 milligrams of sodium