The Food and Drug Administration recently released a statement titled, Use of the Term “Healthy” in the Labeling of Human Food Products: Guidance for Industry, to finally change terms of using the word “healthy” on food labels. We are happy about it and you will be too when you read the new terms.
Let’s start with what was considered “healthy” in the past.
Fat free, low fat, reduced fat, was all the craze. Companies would focus on only the fat content of their food to promote on their labels. Why? Because the world firmly believed fat would make us fat, and if something makes us gain weight it can’t be considered healthy. Boy, were we wrong.
Fat is vital to our health and our bodies, and incorporating it into your diet will lead to these benefits and more:
- Providing your body with energy to carry out daily activities
- Helping you feel full longer after eating
- Carrying essential vitamins throughout your body
- Help regulate your body temperature and keep you warm
Here is the important part, not to be missed. According to the FDA;
“The focus of the most recent dietary fat recommendations has shifted away from limiting total fat intake to encouraging intakes of mono and polyunsaturated fats,” shifting the focus from the amount of fat, to the type of fats used.
For example, the fats found in almonds and chia seeds are considered good, healthy fats. It is recommended to eat more plant-based fats and omega-3’s from fatty fish and limit the intake of saturated fats usually found in meat and other animal products.
Another criterion food labels must have in order to use the term “healthy”, is the inclusion of nutrients in their food products. In the past, labels only required the listing of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber. These are no longer of public health concern. Labels now include potassium and vitamin D, in addition to iron and calcium. To use the term “healthy”, labels must contain at least ten percent of the Daily Value (DV) of potassium or vitamin D.
Now that you are aware what “healthy” means according to the FDA, read this to find out which fatty foods are good for you.