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What's the Difference Between Fat-Free and Non-Fat?

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
May 18, 2011

 

Ask the Diva: What’s the Difference Between Fat-Free and Nonfat?

Q. Is there a difference between fat-free and nonfat?  And what makes something "low-fat?"

A. Fat-free and nonfat are the same thing.  For dairy products, fat-free and nonfat refer to skim milk and products (such as yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.) made from skim milk. Just a reminder: Foods labeled fat-free may still legally contain up to half a gram (0.5g) of fat per serving.

In order to be labeled "low-fat," a food must have no more than 3g of fat in a typical serving size. In addition, a low-fat food must not get more than 30% of its total calories from fat.  For dairy products, "low-fat" refers to 1% milk and products made from 1% milk.

Related Content: Are Fat Free Labels Reliable?

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