Health claims: what they mean

To make a health claim about potassium, sodium and reduced risk of high blood pressure, the food...

  • must be low in (or free of) sodium
  • may also be high in potassium
  • must be low in saturated fatty acids
  • must be limited in alcohol
  • must have more than 40 Calories if the food is not a vegetable or a fruit
  • must have a minimum amount of at least one vitamin or mineral

To make a health claim about calcium, vitamin D and regular physical activity, and reduced risk of osteoporosis, the food ...

  • must be high (or very high) in calcium
  • may also be very high in vitamin D
  • cannot have more phosphorus than calcium
  • must be limited in alcohol]
  • must have more than 40 Calories if the food is not a vegetable or a fruit

To make a health claim about saturated and trans fats and reduced risk of heart disease, the food ...

  • must be low in (or free of) saturated fat and trans fat
  • must be limited in cholesterol, sodium and alcohol
  • must have more than 40 Calories if the food is not a vegetable or a fruit
  • must have a minimum amount of at least one vitamin or mineral
  • must, if it is a fat or an oil, be a source of omega-3 or omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids

To make a health claim about vegetables and fruit and reduced risk of some types of cancers, the food ...

  • must be a fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruit or vegetable; fruit juice; vegetable juice
  • must be limited in alcohol

To make a health claim about plant sterols and lowering cholesterol, the food ...

  • must contain a minimum level equivalent to 0.65 g of free plant sterols or stanols per reference amount and per serving of stated size;
  • must contain at least 10% of the weighted recommended nutrient intake of a vitamin or mineral per reference amount and per serving of stated size;
  • must contain 100 mg or less of cholesterol per 100 g of food;
  • must NOT contain more than 0.5% alcohol;
  • must contain 480 mg or less of sodium per reference amount and per serving of stated size, and per 50 g if the reference amount is 30 g or 30 mL or less;
  • must meet the criterion "low in saturated fatty acids."
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