What does healthy mean? Tell FDA

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Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced they want to redefine what the “healthy” claim on food packages means. Healthy is an official term that food manufacturers are allowed to put on a processed food if it meets certain FDA nutrient requirements.

The FDA rethinking comes after a manufacturer objected that their product could not be labeled healthy because it isn’t low fat – it contains whole nuts. They won their case, citing US Dietary Guidelines that say type of fat has more relevance to health than the amount of fat in a single food. High fat foods like nuts and avocados are part of overall healthy and cancer-protective diets, like the Mediterranean diet.

It’s important to know that these claims are designed for processed foods or food products, as a marketing tool – not for whole foods like vegetables, fruit, beans and whole grains like brown rice and barley. Marian Nestle explained this in her Food Politics blog last week. Read more… “What does healthy mean? Tell FDA”


    Can Exercise Offset Alcohol-Related Cancer Death?

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    Research shows that drinking alcohol increases cancer risk. Now, a new study is suggesting that going for that daily run or walk might offset risk for cancer mortality.

    This study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found the link between alcohol and cancer mortality goes away when people meet the minimum physical activity guidelines. These findings have been making headlines, but do they give you license to drink with abandon as long as you’re physically active? Not so fast.

    The study used data from over 36,000 British men and women ages 40 and up who were interviewed between 1994 and 2006 about their physical activity and alcohol consumption habits as part of larger, ongoing health surveys. Researchers classified participants as never-drinkers, ex-drinkers, or current drinkers based on what they told interviewers. Current drinkers were further categorized by how much alcohol they drank in the past week. Read more… “Can Exercise Offset Alcohol-Related Cancer Death?”


      Changing Habits is Hard – Why Our Challenge Will Help

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      I’m so excited for the launch of our newly designed and updated New American Plate Challenge website! I love this program because it takes you on a journey of eating and physical activity changes, rather than a prescribed, one size fits all weight loss diet. Each week you’ll take on a new challenge for a healthier life – the goal is to find a way that works for you and practice it until eventually you make it a lifelong habit.

      Making changes is hard, especially long held eating habits and trying to get more active, so we provide plenty of tips, recipes and support from the NAP Challenge dietitians and other participants to help you succeed. You may also decide to go at your own pace and just work on a few of the challenges and skip some as we go along. Read more… “Changing Habits is Hard – Why Our Challenge Will Help”