By Renée Onque
Food products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must now meet certain criteria to be labeled as “healthy,” following a new rule proposed by the agency on September 28.
And many popular cereals, including ones you may believe to be healthy, wouldn’t fit under that label.
In order to be considered “healthy”, products have to align with the FDA’s updated Nutrition Facts label and the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, according to its announcement.
The agency used cereal as an example to detail the new criteria.
For a healthy stamp from the FDA, cereals have to contain three-fourth ounces of whole grains and no more than 1 gram of saturated fat, 230 milligrams of sodium and 2.5 grams of added sugars.
7 cereals that do not qualify as ‘healthy’ based on the FDA’s new definition:
- Raisin Bran (9g of added sugars)
- Honey Nut Cheerios (12g of added sugars)
- Corn Flakes (300mg of sodium; 4g of added sugars)
- Honey Bunches of Oats, Honey Roasted (8g of added sugars)
- Frosted Mini Wheats (12g of added sugars)
- Life (8g of added sugars)
- Special K (270mg of sodium; 4g of added sugars)
The new guidance was proposed after the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, “as well as the release of the related national strategy, which aims to end hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity, reduce diet-related diseases and close disparity gaps by 2030,” the FDA wrote in its press release.
“Healthy food can lower our risk for chronic disease. But too many people may not know what constitutes healthy food,” said the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, in the FDA’s statement.
“FDA’s move will help educate more Americans to improve health outcomes, tackle health disparities and save lives.”