The fight on "healthy" foods just got real. KIND snacks, the company that's known for granola and other grab-and-go snacks, recently challenged the FDA on one of its, frankly, out-of-date mandates. The health word brawl between the snack company and the FDA has been percolating since April of this year.
Back in April, NPR reported that the FDA told KIND that it couldn't label some of its bars "healthy" because they contained too much saturated fat. Under the FDA's current rules, a product cannot be labeled healthy if it contains more than 1 gram of saturated fat.
"According to the letter [from the FDA], there were four flavors of Kind bar that were not up to snuff when the agency reviewed them in August 2014," NPR reports. "For example, the KIND Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut product contained 5 grams of saturated fat per 40 grams of the food." The FDA also took issue with the company's use of the plus symbol. NPR reported that if a company wants to "bear the symbol or word plus, the bar [or product] has to contain 10 percent more of the nutrients than a bar the FDA has deemed representative of the snack bar category."
Well, KIND decided to swing back at the FDA and responded to its "health rule" with a pretty interesting petition. KIND asked, the FDA "to update its regulations around the term healthy when used as a nutrient claim on food labeling to exclude the grams of saturated and total fat content in their products that come from nuts, fruits, vegetables, seeds, whole grains and legumes, in most cases."
We've got to admit -- that doesn't sound like a bad idea… And while that change would help KIND keep its healthy label (many of its products contain nuts), it would also help people better understand what's truly healthy.
From the Organic Authority Files
To help the FDA (and inquiring minds) understand the "healthy" divide, the KIND company created a chart that shows items that do meet the FDA's current healthy standards. Guess what? Sugary cereal, fat-free chocolate pudding, and low-fat pastries made the cut, but almonds and avocados didn't.
Brand Channel points out that KIND's snacks still may not be truly healthy, either -- after all, many of them contain a lot sugar. However, the company is working on it. KIND recently said "it plans to cut added sugar in some of its bars next spring and supports the FDA’s proposal to include a daily value for added sugar on nutritional food labels."
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Image of KIND Snack Bar from Facebook