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Healthy Eating

Diets vs. Nutrition

  • Diets often restrict the body from basic nutrients / Nutrition is what the body needs to work properly
  • Diets are often temporary commitments / Nutrition is a lifestyle
  • Diets are often “one size fits all” scams focused on exploiting people’s emotions / Nutrition is based of scientific research and can be specific to a person’s need(s)
  • Most diets are not approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) / Nutritional recommendations are approved by the USDA

New USDA Recommendations (2011)

Old USDA Recommendations (2005)

Food Groups 

Nutrition Labels

  • Practice reading nutritional labels placed before purchasing or consuming your food
  • Nutritional labels provide a wealth of information about your food
  • Understanding nutritional labels is not always easy

Below are the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for food classifications. Do not be fooled by false representation products. Like the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”  – don’t judge food by its cover!

Label        Translation
Fat-Free        Less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving, with no added fat or oil
Low Fat        3 grams or less of fat per serving
Less Fat        25% or less fat than the comparison food
Saturated Fat Free        Less than 0.5 grams of saturated fat and 0.5 grams of trans-fatty acids per serving
Cholesterol-Free        Less than 2 mg cholesterol per serving, and 2 grams or less saturated fat per serving
Low Cholesterol        20 mg or less cholesterol per serving and 2 grams or less saturated fat per serving
Reduced Calorie        At least 25% fewer calories per serving than the comparison food
Low Calorie        40 calories or less per serving
Extra Lean        Less than 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, and 95 mg of cholesterol per (100 gram)
Lean        Less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 95 mg of cholesterol per (100 gram)
Light Fat        50% or less of the fat than in the comparison food (ex: 50% less fat than our regular)
Light Calorie        1/3 fewer calories than the comparison food
High-Fiber        5 grams or more fiber per serving
Sugar-Free        Less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving
Sodium-Free        Less than 5 mg of sodium per serving
Low Sodium        140 mg or less per serving
Very Low Sodium        35 mg or less per serving


  • Animals (cholesterol*): Butter, cheese, lard, cream, milk, eggs, and meat
  • Plants: avocados, soy bean, olives, flaxseed, sesame, pumpkin, cottonseed, corn, nuts, coconuts, margarine
  • Saturated & Trans Saturated – Found in animal fat (can increase bad cholesterol levels)
  • Unsaturated – Found in plants (can decrease bad cholesterol levels)
  • 9 calories per gram

*High cholesterol leads to hardening of arteries, which eventually leads to heart disease and or heart attack. Have your cholesterol checked. If it is higher than 200, ask your doctor for advice.


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