Nutrient Claims on Food Labels

What is a Nutrient Claim?

Ever wonder what “low fat” or “high fiber” really means? Nutrient content claims describe a food and the level of a particular nutrient in that food. “Low fat” and “High fiber” are both examples of nutrient content claims. These types of claims usually appear on the front of a package and are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA requires that the industry follow guidelines when making these claims.

Grocery car filled at grocery store.

Common Nutrient Claims and Descriptors

Calorie free Less than 5 calories per serving
Low calorie 40 calories or less per serving
Sugar free Less than .5 g per serving
No added sugar No sugar, or sugar-containing ingredient, added during processing or packaging
Fat free Less than .5 g per serving
Low fat 3 g or less per serving
Cholesterol free Less than 2 mg of cholesterol and 2 g or less saturated fat per serving
Salt or sodium free Less than 5 mg per serving
Low sodium 140 mg or less per serving
High in or excellent source of or rich in One serving provides at least 20% or more of the Daily Value for a particular nutrient.
Good source of One serving provides 10-19% of the Daily Value for a particular nutrient.
Fresh Generally used on a food in its raw state. Cannot be used on food that has been frozen or coked, or on food that contains preservatives.

Did You Know?

“Healthy” is an implied nutrient content claim given to foods that have defined, “healthy” levels of fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and beneficial nutrients.

Keep in mind that this does not take into account whether a food is highly-processed or has added sugar or not.

For a complete list of nutrient content claims and descriptors, visit the FDA’s Food Labeling Guide found here: