The Language of Labels Nutrient Content Claims

Imagine rolling your shopping cart through the supermarket. Your eyes dart from one food product to another. Some canned peaches say "no added sugar." Certain breakfast cereals are "high in fiber"; others are "fortified." On packages of luncheon meat you see the term "lean." The words "high in calcium" on a milk carton catch your eye. You can choose "lite" salad dressing. And a box of cookies says "fewer calories." What does all this label language mean?

Known as nutrient content claims, these terms describe the amount of nutrients, cholesterol, fiber, or calories in food. But they don't give exact amounts. Usually they're on the front for quick comparisons.

For example, suppose you're comparing fat in salad dressing. Terms such as "reduced fat" and "fat-free"

offer a general idea of the fat content. To find the exact amount in one label serving, check the Nutrition Facts.

Nutrient content claims mean the same thing for all foods, no matter what food or manufacturer. That's because they're defined strictly by regulation. Like Nutrition Facts, nutrient content claims are defined for

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