Home Heart Health Food What to Watch For on Food Labels When You're Following a Low-Fat Diet - Parade

What to Watch For on Food Labels When You're Following a Low-Fat Diet - Parade

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Q: I’m trying to follow a low-fat, heart-healthy diet, but I’m confused by food labels. What should I know?

A: Most healthy adults should limit total fat intake to around 25 to 35 percent of total calories eaten daily. While it is important to keep an eye on food’s fat content, remember that this 25 to 35 percent fat range is your overall dietary goal; you’ll always encounter foods that are under or over this percentage. Your goal is to keep most foods you eat within this desired range.

Related: Egg Label Lingo: What It All Really Means

Look for foods with labels that state the following nutrition claims:

Low-fat: 3 grams or less fat per serving. Complete meals (such as frozen dinners), are low-fat as long as they contain no more than 3 grams of fat for every 100 calories.

Low-saturated fat: Less than 1 gram saturated fat per serving

Low-cholesterol: 20 mg or less cholesterol per serving and no more than 2 grams saturated fat per serving

Reduced-fat, reduced-cholesterol: 25 percent less fat or cholesterol than the comparable food product

Light or lite (in fat): 50 percent or less fat than the comparable food

Related: Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Heart Health?

This article originally appeared as “Grocery Shopping & Heart Health: Food Labels” on Cleveland Clinic’s Heath Essentials.

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