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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is re-evaluating its definition of the word “healthy” – something that could upend how various foods are marketed.
“There seems to be controversy with the use of the word healthy with some foods that we would think are healthy so that’s why it’s being reevaluated,” said Lucette Talamas, a Baptist Health Registered Dietitian.
The term “healthy” can only currently be used on packaging when it meets certain nutrient criteria. Under this current criteria, some Kind fruit and nut bars would not be able to use the term “healthy,” according to the administration. The company later asked for a re-evaluation of the term saying the rule prevents avocados and salmon from being labeled “healthy.”
The FDA plans to ask the public as well as food experts for comment on what should be the modern definition of healthy, setting off a process that could take years to complete.
Talamas says we don’t have to wait for that to happen in order to make better food choices now.
“All processed products right now have a food label, which is the nutrition facts label and they also have an ingredient list. And we can look at those right now to start making decisions, at least better decisions about processed products,” said Talamas.
She says when you have a choice, pick the least processed form of a product and really look at those nutritional labels.
“Start off by comparing the type of fat. Start off by comparing the amount of sodium and the amount of sugar and choosing products that have the healthiest type of fat, which is unsaturated, choosing products that have the least amount of sodium and the least amount of sugar,” said Talamas.