A. If a food claims its ‘low fat’, it must contain no more than 3g of fat per 100g which is the same as 3 per cent fat. Many products turn this around to say they are ‘97% fat-free’. This is the case for low-fat yoghurts, instant soups, cereals and rice crackers.
On the other hand, ‘diet’ means low in kilojoules or calories. By law, diet foods (sometimes labelled as ‘low joule’ foods) must contain less than 170 kilojoules (40 calories) per 100g. You’d see diet on diet jams, diet jelly, diet lollies, chewing gum and meal replacement shakes.
For example, in the dairy cabinet, you’ll find some yoghurts and desserts that are ‘low fat’ and some that are ‘diet’. The low fat ones have no more than 3 per cent fat (you can check this on the nutrition information panel) while the diet yoghurts are both low fat AND sweetened with acesulphame K or sucralose instead of sugar.
Diet yoghurts contain the least amount of fat and kilojoules of all products – this is as low as it gets! Both low-fat and diet varieties are nutritious but the diet types are for the serious dieter!
Low-fat 200g tub 0-1g fat 6g added sugar 800kilojoules
Diet yoghurt 200g tub 0g fat 0g added sugar 380kilojoules
What about beverages?
Beverages have their own rules. For a drink to claim ‘low-fat’ it must contain no more than 1.5g of fat per 100ml - that is, the drink must be ‘98.5% fat-free’. For example, low fat milks and some juices.
Diet drinks must contain less than 80 kilojoules (20 calories) per 100ml. For example, diet soft drinks and cordials.