Nutrient Content Claims

Ever wonder what the difference is between fat free, saturated fat free, low fat, reduced and less fat?

The government has defined certain claims that can be used on food packaging. For example, you'll see the claim "less sodium" on some brands of chili with beans. This means the product has at least 25% less sodium than the regular version.

Some of the popular claims are listed here.

Claims for Calories

  • Calories free: less than 5 calories per serving
  • Low calorie: 40 calories or less per serving

Claims for Total, Saturated and Trans Fat

  • Fat free: less than 0.5 g of fat
  • Saturated fat free: less than 0.5 g of saturated fat
  • Trans fat free:  less than 0.5 grams trans fat
  • Low fat: 3 g or less of total fat
  • Low saturated fat: 1 g or less of saturated fat
  • Reduced fat or less fat: at least 25% less fat than the regular version

Claims for Sodium

  • Sodium free or salt free: less than 5 mg of sodium per serving
  • Very low sodium: 35 mg of sodium or less
  • Low sodium: 140 mg of sodium or less
  • Reduced sodium or less sodium: at least 25% less sodium than the regular version

Claims for Cholesterol

  • Cholesterol free: less than 2 mg per serving
  • Low cholesterol: 20 mg or less
  • Reduced cholesterol or less cholesterol: at least 25% less cholesterol than the regular version

Claims for Sugar

  • Sugar free: less than 0.5 grams (g) of sugar per serving
  • Reduced sugar: at least 25% less sugar per serving than the regular version
  • No sugar added or Without added sugars: no sugar or sugar-containing ingredient is added during processing

Claims for Fiber

  • High fiber: 5 g or more of fiber per serving
  • Good source of fiber: 2.5 g to 4.9 g of fiber per serving


  • Last Reviewed: August 1, 2013
  • Last Edited: August 8, 2014

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Diabetes Forecast