FDA has proposed updated criteria for when foods can be labeled with the nutrient content claim “healthy” on their packaging. This proposed rule would align the definition of the healthy claim with current nutrition science, the updated nutrition facts label, and the government’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The proposed rule, which has been in development for several years, would update the definition of “healthy” to better account for how nutrients in various food groups may work together to create healthy dietary patterns and improve health. Under the proposed definition for the updated healthy claim, which is based on current nutrition science, more foods that are part of a healthy dietary pattern would be eligible to use the claim on their labeling, including nuts and seeds, higher fat fish (such as salmon), certain oils, and water.
Under the proposed definition, to be labeled with this claim on food packaging, products would need to:
- Contain a certain meaningful amount of food from at least one of the food groups or subgroups (e.g., fruit, vegetable, dairy, etc.) recommended by the Dietary Guidelines.
- Adhere to specific limits for certain nutrients, such as saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars. The threshold for the limits is based on a percent of the daily value (DV) for the nutrient and varies depending on the food and food group. The limit for sodium is 10% of the DV per serving (230 milligrams per serving).
FDA is also exploring the development of a symbol that manufacturers could use to show that their product meets the healthy claim criteria.