The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not allow almonds to be
called "healthy" on food labels, due to the agency's regulatory
definition of the term that considered foods' total fat rather than
distinguishing among different types of fat.
Almonds now meet FDA's new guidance as they contain predominantly
"good" monounsaturated fats and provide 14 percent of the Daily Value
‘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 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 September 27 announcement that the purpose of revising the "healthy" criteria is to bring the use of the claim more in line with 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.