“Low-content” labels can be deceiving. While they may live up to their claim, they may not be the healthiest choice. According to a study from Duke University, foods with low-content nutrient claims did, in fact, contain a lower amount of the nutrient mentioned, whether calories, fat, salt, or sugar. However, regulations for a “low” or “reduced” nutrient label only refer to the original food, not for a whole food category. And while the single nutrient content may be reduced, others are not.
As stated, just because the food may be low in a specific nutrient, it is not necessarily a healthier, nutrient-rich option. In order to truly understand the nutritional value of a food, you must read the food label carefully. Make sure you pay attention to serving sizes and the specific nutrient content per serving.
When it comes to “lower”, “reduced”, and “free” label terms, they are regulated by the government and are specific and well defined. Here are some common labels and what they really mean:
- Low Calorie – 40 calories or less per standard serving
- Reduced/Less Calorie – at least 25% fewer calories per serving compared to the standard food
- Low Fat – 3 grams or less per standard serving
- Reduced/Less Fat – at least 25% less fat per serving compared to the standard food
- Low Sodium – 140 mg or less per serving
- Reduced/Less Sodium – at least 25% less sodium per serving compared to the standard food
- Reduced/Les Sugar – at least 25% lower in added sugars compared with the standard serving of the original food
- Sugar-Free – less than 0.5 grams of any form of sugar per serving; does not mean calorie-free
- No Added Sugar – a product can still contain natural sugars, like 100% fruit juice/fruit sauces or milk, but no additional sugars of any kind
These studies remind us how important it is to be an informed consumer. Reading food labels and scanning ingredients lists help us to know what we are paying for and what we are putting into our bodies.
We value our customers which is why we use only the finest and freshest ingredients available to us. Come in today for breakfast, sandwiches, or salads made fresh to order. You can find us on the corner of Garey Avenue and East Arrow Highway in Pomona. Order ahead online or call 909-596-5225.