The FDA is establishing new rules for using the term “Healthy Food” on labels and packaging.  The last labeling rules were established in 1994.  That is 28 years ago, it is time for an update. With the implementation of the new rules foods must meet specific nutrient related criteria to make a “healthy” claim.

According to the

  • 75% of us don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables
  • 63% of use to many added sugars
  • 77% of us are eating too much saturated fat
  • 90% of us are eating an unsafe amount of salt

According to Xavier Becerra, HHS Secretary “nutrition is the key to improving our nation’s health”.  He also states that “healthy food can lower our risk for chronic disease”.

Some Diet Related Chronic Diseases:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes

The new rules will also be in line with The Dietary Guidelines For American 2020-2025.

The father of medicine, Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”!

The thought process is better nutrition leads to better health.

In order to be labeled with the “healthy” claim on food packaging, the products would need to: 

  • Contain a certain meaningful amount of food from at least one of the food groups or subgroups (e.g., fruit, vegetable, dairy, etc.) recommended by the Dietary Guidelines.
  • Adhere to specific limits for certain nutrients, such as saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. The threshold for the limits is based on a percent of the Daily Value (DV) for the nutrient and varies depending on the food and food group. The limit for sodium is 10% of the DV per serving (230 milligrams per serving).

For example, a cereal would need to contain ¾ ounces of whole grains and contain no more than 1 gram of saturated fat, 230 milligrams of sodium and 2.5 grams of added sugars.

Raw whole fruits and vegetables will automatically qualify as healthy foods.

The FDA is hoping these labeling changes will help consumers understand how to choose food options that are actually better for their health.



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