By Fredrica Syren aka Green Mom:
What is healthy food, really? With so many different “diets” like paleo, raw, vegan and so many more in today’s society, everyone has an opinion about what healthy food is — and they are all different, depending who you ask. Even between my friends and family it varies, and what I believe in for sure is not what my best friend thinks.
According to the medical dictionary, healthy food is any food believed to be “good for you,” especially if high in fiber, natural vitamins, fructose, etc. In 1994 the Food & Drug Administration in the United States (FDA) established its definition of the word healthy. Because of this definition, foods like granola bars or yogurt were deemed “healthy” just because they contained an ingredient considered “healthy” even if it was loaded with sugar.
Now saying that due to evolving nutrition research and our increased knowledge of nutrition and food since the 1990s, the FDA might be changing the definition of healthy. A new definition will allow people to make better and healthier choices. Another reason for the FDA’s move to define healthy comes after the FDA’s complaint against the manufacturer of Kind brand bars, who used the phrase “healthy and tasty” about its bars containing almonds and other nuts. Kind argued against the FDA, which made the FDA review its definition and come to the conclusion that Kind should be allowed to use this phrase after all.
For sure it’s time for the FDA to rethink the term healthy since nowadays many new foods like quinoa, tofu, chia seeds and hummus have been introduced and are considered healthy by nutritionists. Times are changing and it’s time for the FDA to get with the program, too.
Unfortunately, this process of change will not happen overnight because the first step is a proposal. This is then followed by lots of research and ideas, adjustments, and a final implementation period. So it can take years before we actually get to see the change.