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So, Why Doesn't The FDA Consider Salmon, Avocados, or Almonds Healthy?

December 03, 2015 3 min read

The Food And Drug Administration is tasked, in part, with keeping Americans from harm. They prevent people from making false claims on their food labels and if you follow their suggestions, you will be safe and healthy, right? Maybe not. Earlier this year, the FDA issued a warning letter to the makers of KIND bars. They were concerned about the use of the word "healthy" on their labels targeting specifically, the saturated fat content of the KIND Fruit & Nut Almond & Apricot, KIND Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut, KIND Plus Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein, and KIND Plus Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants. The company has responded by filing a Citizen's Petition with the FDA, backed by support from nutritionists and public health experts, urging the FDA to update their definition of "healthy." Under the current set of standards, for a company to use the word "healthy" the product must meet the following requirements: •    Have less than three grams of fat per serving •    Have less than one gram of saturated fat •    Contains at least 10 percent of daily vitamins Those regulations eliminate an awful lot of good for you foods that contain healthy fats. Avocado has 21 grams of fat and 3.1 grams of saturated fat per cup, salmon has 11 grams of fat and 2.6 grams of saturated fat per three-ounce serving, and almonds have 14 grams of fat and 1.1 grams of saturated fat per ounce. They FDA deems them unhealthy while nutrition experts and Federal Dietary Guidelines recommend eating all three. The current regulations make it impossible for some healthy foods to be labeled as such while foods that are actually unhealthy get a pass. Check out this graphic from KIND: healthy_foods_according_to_the_fda [bctt tweet="So, Why Doesn't The FDA Consider Salmon, Avocados, or Almonds Healthy?"] “The current regulations were created with the best intentions more than 20 years ago, when the available science supported dietary recommendations limiting total fat intake," Daniel Lubetzky, founder and CEO of KIND, explains. "We’ve conducted more than half a year of research studying this topic and gaining a thorough understanding of the related nutrition science, dietary guidance, and regulations. The petition reflects a broad base of support within the food science and nutrition community to call attention to the importance of eating foods made with wholesome and nutrient-rich ingredients.” All of this comes as part of a greater movement from the nutrition community to encourage the government to see that not all fats are created equal. A paper published in June in the Journal of the American Medical Association, argued that there is evidence that eating foods containing healthy fats can protect us from disease while eating low-fat and fat-free foods can be more damaging than eating the full fat versions. For the moment, the cited KIND bars have removed "healthy" from their online description. Only time will tell if the regulations will catch up to the science. What do you think? Should we be putting blind trust in government regulations or researching what eat on our own? Source: Women's Health

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