use of the word “Healthy” on food labels It faces further scrutiny under updated standards proposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The agency’s plan to force manufacturers to show so-called health products containing limited amounts of certain ingredients — fat, saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol — and minimum levels of nutrients — fiber, protein, iron, calcium, vitamins A and C — was welcome News Melissa Kinney, RDN, Specialist Nutrition and nutrition registered with Hartford Healthcare.
“In the nearly 30 years since the Food and Drug Administration began defining the word ‘healthy’ on food labels, the science of nutrition has changed,” she said, noting that the new proposal aligns with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025. Current guidelines focus on the type of fat consumed rather than total fat, and foods low in salt and added sugars.
What is behind the label?
While food labels can help Persons with limited nutritional knowledge, Kenny said a healthy diet should:
- Save fuel for your life
- Include items from different food groups for a variety of nutrients
- have fun
- Be realistic in your life
“A healthy diet is not just about eating healthy foods. It’s about a healthy relationship with food,” Kenny explained.
While she said people still need help understanding healthy and unhealthy foods — for example, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not clearly define the word “natural,” Which doesn’t necessarily mean that food has nutritional value – and cutting out less healthy foods isn’t helpful either.
“All foods can fit into a healthy diet,” Kenny began. “In fact, I think a ‘healthy’ diet includes the foods we eat for enjoyment as well. Food labels and dietary guidelines are suggestions and starting points for people.”
If possible, I suggested that people meet with a registered dietitian to design a nutritional plan to suit their individual nutritional needs and enjoyment.
seal of approval
When considering the latest FDA proposal, Kenny said the move promotes foods rich in nutrients such as:
- olive oil
- mixed nuts
She added that items that are not considered nutrient dense and therefore not “healthy” include white bread and highly sweetened cereals.
Kenny said the proposed limits for saturated fat, salt and added sugar are key to keeping the body healthy and reducing the risk of chronic disease.
“Since the first labeling rules were established, we’ve learned more about the types of fats. Choosing unsaturated fats like oils and nuts is more heart-healthy than saturated fats found in meat and dairy products,” she said, adding that eating foods low in sodium is also better for health. the heart.
She called the news “a piece of the puzzle,” and urged people to take responsibility for their health.
“If you want to start eating more nutritious foods, I suggest focusing on one small change at a time. Add fruit or other vegetables daily, drink an extra glass of water, make half of the grains whole, and use herbs and spices instead of salt.
“These small changes really add up in the long run.”
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