Healthy Food

A lot of foods carry the moniker healthy. If you were a suspecting mind much like Sherlock Holmes you would ask the question “why didn’t the dog bark”. Forgive my poor analogy when evaluating foods that are proclaimed to be healthy.  I don’t recall any packaging on the watermelon that says it is healthy. Surprisingly it was only in 1994 that the Food and Drug Administration in USA began to regulate the use of the term ‘healthy’ on foods. In general foods that were proclaimed healthy were low in fat as much of the accepted research up to that point seemed to suggest that it was foods that were high in fat that were unhealthy. Over time, research and science have also shown the dangers of a diet that is high in sugar or carbohydrates and therefore unhealthy. In a paper published it was revealed that in the early 60’s as evidence began to emerge that too much sugar was potentially harmful, the sugar industry lobbied to have ‘unhealthy’ defined as foods that have ‘high fat’ content.

On September 28 2016 the FDA started the process of consultation for defining the term ‘healthy’. This is part of an overall plan by the FDA to have clear guidelines on what constitutes healthy food and otherwise. It goes without saying that this means that a large part of the current practice of labelling foods as healthy may be faulty or without merit since the current guidelines are outdated. There have already been revisions to the understanding of healthy foods even with the consumption of fats where there is a focus on the types of fats instead of the total fat content. This has led to the more recent view that mono and poly unsaturated fats might not be that harmful after all and probably need to be classified separately.

With an MBA from the University of Michigan I consider myself to be reasonably educated. To those who know me it would not come as a surprise if I were to say I read a lot. Despite this, there is so much conflicting information out there about what is good for one and not that its easy to be completely confused. Experts of all hues proclaim the Gun (if you can excuse my use of a hindi term that loosely means virtue) of various products. This comes with the goodness of whole wheat or vegetables or has a hundred percent of the requirement of all vitamins and minerals says a screaming hoarding with the face of the latest movie star from what ever strain or genre of movies that is popular in your neck of the woods. I am no Holmes and unfortunately not even the suspicious type but still – Healthy? Really? If you have to say that to me, shouldn’t I be running away already?