Healthy and natural are in the news again; what do they mean?

The Food and Drug Administration recently backed down in a fight with Kind bars about the bar maker using the term healthy on its products. In the process, the agency decided to re-evaluate the guidelines it uses that allow a food manufacturer to use the term healthy.

My low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar pantry.
My low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar pantry. Are these healthy? For me, they are.

“Just because a food contains certain ingredients that are considered good for you, such as fruit or nuts, it does not mean that the food can bear a ‘healthy’ nutrient content claim,’ the FDA said, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Kind bars have 13 grams of sugar each, is that healthy? How about the 3.5 grams of saturated fat?

While this labeling issues goes on, Consumer Reports was reporting that people misinterpret what the word natural on a food label means. t means nothing, really, there is no regulatory standard for using it.

“It’s time for the ‘natural’ label to go away. There’s a lot of evidence that consumers are confused about what the claim ‘natural’ actually means. And our surveys clearly show that consumers are being misled. The Food and Drug Administration has the responsibility to ban the use of the term on processed food packaging, or define it so it means what consumers expect it to—100 percent organic,” said  Urvashi Rangen, Ph.D., the director of the Consumer Reports Food Safety & Sustainability Center.

Amen to that. I’d ditch healthy too because the question always is healthy to whom. With my low-salt-, low-fat, low-sugar diet, many products that masquerade as healthy are not healthy to me, no mater what their labels say. so healthy for whom?

John

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