diet/light

English translation: minimal difference, BUT... (note on usage)

19:01 Apr 11, 2004
English language (monolingual) [PRO]
Cooking / Culinary / recipes
English term or phrase: diet/light
What's the difference exactly between "light recipes" and "diet recipes"?
LMCO
Germany
Selected answer:minimal difference, BUT... (note on usage)
Explanation:
I basically agree with everyone in that
- the phrases are often used interchangeably
- there are some (US) FDA definitions of what constitutes "light", "reduced-calorie", etc.

That said, my impression is that "diet ____" as a phrase is pretty "out" in the English language. Note the shift (at least in Europe) for instance from Diet Coke/Diet Pepsi to Coke Light/Pepsi Light (or even Pepsi One). If you are translating e.g. a book of recipes, I would not use the phrase "diet recipes"; sounds very institutional. Granted, it is largely a euphemism, but I feel "light" sounds much more asthetically pleasing today than "diet".
Selected response from:

Michele Johnson
Germany
Local time: 14:16
Grading comment
Thank you for all suggestions and comments. Michele, you note on usage was great!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



SUMMARY OF ALL EXPLANATIONS PROVIDED
3 +12minimal difference, BUT... (note on usage)
Michele Johnson
5 +2none
Marian Greenfield
4 +2special diet/low-calorie(or fat)
Margaret Schroeder
3regulation
Penelope Ausejo


  

Answers


30 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
none


Explanation:
light can mean reduced anything (salt, fat, calories,), it is often spelled lite.

diet has any of the same meanings.



Marian Greenfield
Local time: 08:16
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Nancy Arrowsmith: light often has no fat, but a lot of sugar, is not always consistent
3 mins

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
1 hr
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35 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
special diet/low-calorie(or fat)


Explanation:
As Marion rightly says, they are usually interchangeable. However, in certain contexts, "diet" could refer to a recipe or food that complies with a specific special diet which is not necessary low-calorie or low fat, but rather has to meet some other requirement. Examples might be recipes or foods for a lactose-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, or yeast-free diet.

Margaret Schroeder
Mexico
Local time: 07:16
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  etale: totally agree
58 mins

neutral  Tony M: Usually, such 'special diet' menus state the fact, and 'diet' on its own is just a hip way of saying 'less fattening' --- like 'diet Coke'
3 hrs

agree  perke
16 hrs
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40 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
regulation


Explanation:
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration in the US) says that in order to claim that if something is light then you can be assured that:

for foods deriving more than 50 percent of calories from fat, the light product is reduced in fat by at least 50 percent; or for foods deriving less than 50 percent of calories from fat, .... (see link)
http://home.comcast.net/~bkrentzman/nutrition/food.label.cla...

I have found no regulation for diet.

I'm gonna keep on searching...



Penelope Ausejo
Spain
Local time: 14:16
Works in field
Native speaker of: Spanish
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59 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +12
minimal difference, BUT... (note on usage)


Explanation:
I basically agree with everyone in that
- the phrases are often used interchangeably
- there are some (US) FDA definitions of what constitutes "light", "reduced-calorie", etc.

That said, my impression is that "diet ____" as a phrase is pretty "out" in the English language. Note the shift (at least in Europe) for instance from Diet Coke/Diet Pepsi to Coke Light/Pepsi Light (or even Pepsi One). If you are translating e.g. a book of recipes, I would not use the phrase "diet recipes"; sounds very institutional. Granted, it is largely a euphemism, but I feel "light" sounds much more asthetically pleasing today than "diet".

Michele Johnson
Germany
Local time: 14:16
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you for all suggestions and comments. Michele, you note on usage was great!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Melanie Nassar
25 mins

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
34 mins

agree  Ildiko Santana: I agree with Michele, and I also feel that "diet" to some extent suggests one has a well-established reason (overweight or health problem, etc) to turn to "diet" drinks or food, while "light" carries mush more pleasant second meanings.
1 hr

agree  Tony M: Nice point, Michele! Though the trouble is 'light' can simply mean 'a light meal' with no particular dietetic implication; I think it would be safer in a formal text to say 'fat/sugar-reduced', 'low-fat/sugar', etc.
2 hrs

agree  Begoña Yañez: Agree with Dusty as well
10 hrs

agree  Valentini Mellas
11 hrs

agree  Alfa Trans (X)
12 hrs

agree  ET1: very good point; you shed some light on how to make good use of euphemisms.
15 hrs

agree  perke
15 hrs

agree  Gayle Wallimann: Yes, and I also agree with Dusty's point.
22 hrs

agree  Charlie Bavington (X): yes, or possibly "calorie-controlled" for "diet", depending how quasi-scientific the approach is.
1 day 5 hrs

agree  Paul Svensson
1 day 23 hrs
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