Nutrient Claims

There are often health claims on products on the grocery shelves such as “reduced in calories” or “source of fibre.” This information can also help guide you to make a healthy choice. These claims are Nutrient Content Claims and they are established by Health Canada. Definitions of the claims are included below.

Keyword

What they mean

Free

an amount so small, health experts consider it nutritionally insignificant

Sodium free

less than 5 mg of sodium*

Cholesterol free

less than 2 mg cholesterol, and low in saturated fat (includes a restriction on trans fat)* not necessarily low in total fat

Low

always associated with a very small amount

Low fat

3 g or less fat*

Low in saturated fat

2 g or less of saturated and trans fat combined

Reduced

at least 25% less of a nutrient compared with a similar product

Reduced in calories

at least 25% less energy than the food to which it is compared

Source

always associated with a "significant" amount

Source of fibre

2 grams or more fibre*

Good source of calcium

165 mg or more of calcium*

Light

when referring to a nutritional characteristic of a product, it is allowed only on foods that are either "reduced in fat" or "reduced in energy" (calories) - explanation on the label of what makes the food "light"; this is also true if "light" refers to sensory characteristic, such as "light in colour**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*per reference amount and per serving of stated size (specific amount of food listed in Nutrition Facts)

** three exceptions that do not require an explanation are "light maple syrup", "light rum" and "light salted" with respect to fish. Note that a separate provision is made for the claim "lightly salted" which may be used when a food contains at least 50% less added sodium compared with a similar product. Source: Health Canada - Nutrition Labeling Tool Kit for Educators