FDA re-evaluating how it defines ‘healthy’ foods

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is re-evaluating how it defines “healthy” when it comes to foods.

The term was officially defined in the 1990s based on criteria that included fat, saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol content.

However, given updates in research, the FDA is interested in a more modern definition.

“Sugar is a huge culprit and it really hasn't been emphasized at all,” Leslie Williams, a Cone Health registered dietitian, said.

Williams also explained that the current guidelines also have not considered that all fats are not equal.

“Those plant based fats are considered the healthy fats and they're a really important part of a healthy diet,” Williams said.

Under the current guidelines items such as avocados or nuts would be classified as high in fat, whereas health professionals argue these foods are healthy because of the nutrients they provide.

Much of the current push can be credited to fruit and nut bar company KIND questioning current standards.

Last year, the FDA told the company it could not use “healthy” on four KIND bar wrappers because of saturated fat levels.

It was announced this week that the FDA has since been reversed its position regarding the labeling -- also ahead of an overall review of the regulating definition of “healthy.”