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FDA finally has a definition of ‘healthy’ foods

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What exactly does “healthy” mean when applied to food? It’s a harder question than it sounds. The FDA has been trying to answer this question for years, but has finally announced that it has drafted it. meaning.

The origin story here is wild :TThe FDA wrote a letter years ago to KIND (a maker of energy bars that are basically just nuts glued together in syrup) telling them that nuts are too fatty to be considered “healthy” and that the company may not use that energy. word. KIND beat it off course Nuts are healthy and the FDA is wrong. FDA says: you are probably right. we think about it.

It was 2016 and the agency was I have pondered the question (public and Corporate input) ever since. The old definition of “healthy” called for foods low in sodium, fat and cholesterol, but dietary guidelines (published by another agency, the USDA) have changed since the original definition was codified. 2015 guidelines Removed Cholesterol Restrictionsand the 2020 Guidelines introduced Restrictions on added sugar. The new regulation brings a definition of ‘wellness’ in line with current guidelines.

The agency explained the proposed new rule on when businesses can consider their food to be healthy:

Under the proposed definition, to bear the “healthy” label on food packaging, a product must:

  • Contains a certain amount of food from at least one of the food groups or subgroups (fruits, vegetables, dairy, etc.) recommended in dietary guidelines.
  • Observe specific restrictions for certain nutrients, such as saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars. Restriction thresholds are based on percent daily value (DV) for nutrients and vary by food and food group. The sodium limit is 10% of DV per serving (230 milligrams per serving).

For example, cereals should contain 3/4 ounces of whole grains, 1 gram or less saturated fat, 230 milligrams of sodium, and 2.5 grams or less of added sugars.

So yogurt containers can be “healthy” because they offer dairy, but only if they don’t have too much sugar. It is “healthy” because it offers fruits and nuts as long as they are not overdone. FDA is Here is a more concrete example.

The new rule is diet pattern Healthy or unhealthy, the new label is supposed to take some of the focus away from beautifying or vilifying individual foods and nutrients. It’s meant to say, “You can match it with

Still, I would argue that the agencies that allow individual foods to be called “healthy” undermine their own claims there. symbol It designates healthy food. ) so the new definition would be: usable to the consumer? I am skeptical about it. But at least it’s changing with the times.

FDA finally has a definition of ‘healthy’ foods

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