FDA To Reconsider Rules Governing ‘Healthy’ Labels

What is "healthy" food, anyway?

Consumers who are just trying to eat right have plenty of reasons to be confused about what they should buying. It seems that every day there is a new study claiming that a previously harmless food may actually be increasing certain risk factors – or that a completely innocuous ingredient may, in fact, be a miracle drug.

Plus, when customers walk through the aisles of their local grocery store, there's not shortage of packaged foods claiming to be "healthy" and "natural." But what does that really mean? Are those kettle-cooked potato chips good for you, just because they weren't fried in partially hydrogenated oils?

"Many foods contain types of fat that are believed to be good for you."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced that it would try to help. The agency plans to examine regulations that govern food labeling and may reconsider the instances in which food manufacturers are allowed to label a product "healthy," according to a press release.

For instance, foods that are low in fat are allowed to use a "healthy" label, even though the most recent health studies suggest that this is an oversimplification. While some fats, such as artificial trans fatty acids, are believed to be unhealthy, many foods contain types of fat that are believed to be good for you.

This past spring, the FDA revised rules governing Nutrition Facts labels, so food manufacturers should already be prepared to adjust the labeling on their products. 

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