The FDA’s 2015 Dietary Guidelines redefine what is labeled healthy and almonds make the grade.
By the Almond Board of California
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced it has started the process to redefine the term “healthy” as it applies to labeling food products in light of the new 2015 Dietary Guidelines for American.
In order for foods to be deemed healthy, they must:
- Meet the “low fat” requirement (<3 g fat per serving) or total fat per serving must be primarily comprised of mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Mono- and polyunsaturated fat content must be declared on the Nutrition Facts Panel.
- Contain at least 10 percent of the Daily Value for vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein, fiber, potassium or vitamin D. If using potassium or vitamin D to substantiate, the amount per serving must be declared on the label.
Almonds meet FDA’s new guidance as they contain predominantly “good” monounsaturated fats and provide 14 percent of the Daily Value for fiber. A one-ounce serving of almonds contains 14 grams of total fat, of which 9 grams are monounsaturated fat and 3.5 grams are polyunsaturated fat (another “good” type of fat), along with 4 grams of fiber.
“At the Almond Board of California and in the nutrition science community, we applaud the FDA’s decision to redefine the term ‘healthy’ to reflect the evolving state of the science,” commented Karen Lapsley, D.Sc., Chief Scientific Officer at the Almond Board of California.
FDA said in its announcement that the purpose of revising the “healthy” criteria is to bring the use of the claim more in line with the updated Nutrition Fact Label and the nutrition science reflected in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Healthy dietary patterns now focus on food groups, the type of fat rather than the total amount of fat consumed, and now address added sugars in the diet, it said. Nutrients of public health concern – meaning nutrients for which most consumers don’t meet recommendations -- have also changed.
With these steps, the agency said it hopes to provide consumers with information and tools to enable them to easily and quickly make food choices consistent with public health recommendations, as well as to provide current guidance to the food industry to help it focus on foods and ingredients that support healthy dietary patterns.
About California Almonds
California almonds are a health, natural, wholesome and nutrient-rich food -- high in vitamin E and magnesium, with 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per one ounce (28-gram) serving. A one-ounce serving of almonds has 13g of unsaturated fat (of which 9 grams are monounsaturated fat and 3.5 grams are polyunsaturated fat) and only 1g of saturated fat.
Almonds are grown by more than 6,500 growers in California’s Central Valley, which is the only region in the U.S. able to successfully grow almonds commercially. They’re the second most valuable crop in California, and in fact comprise 80 percent of the world’s almonds.
The Almond Board supports growers with a research-based approach to production and marketing. To learn more about almonds, visit almonds.com.Photo courtesy of the Almond Board.