top of page

Health Claims & Labels

When it comes to health claims on labels The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has a list of approved claims that must meet a criterion of, “significant scientific agreement among qualified experts that the claim is supported by the totality of publicly available scientific evidence for a substance/disease relationship.”

Which means companies need and should have scientific proof before making any specific claim. However, not all health claims on labels have been or need to be approved.


Only meat, poultry, and eggs are regulated. The words "natural" and "all natural" on food labels aren't regulated by FDA and don't automatically mean the food is healthy.


Gluten doesn’t mean lower calories or healthier for you. Gluten is associated with Celiac Disease. And the removal of gluten is only beneficial to those who are gluten sensitive. Note many gluten free products have more carbs and calories.


Non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) means a product was produced without genetic engineering and its ingredients are not derived from GMOs. The definition of what it means to be genetically modified is widely debated still.


According to the FDA, a food is considered “sugar-free” if it contains less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving. It's important to note the actual number of servings in the food because there may still be a small amount of sugar, even with a sugar-free claim.


A 'low salt/sodium' or 'low in salt/sodium' nutrient claim can only be placed on the label if the food contains no more than 120mg sodium per 100g. Like with 'fat reduced', 'salt reduced' is a claim made in comparison with a product of the same type produced by the same manufacturer.


USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible. As for organic meat, regulations require that animals are raised in living conditions accommodating their natural behaviors.

As you see there’s more to health claims that meets the eye! You shouldn’t let the claims on packages be your point of reference but instead check the back and read the nutrition label.

To truly learn if a food is good for you, you should LEARN how to read, decipher, and understand nutrition labels. Check out one of my previous 411 with Fits L blogs, “The 7 Pointers to Navigating a Nutrition Label”.


17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page