THE ARMY HEALTH BLOG

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

News Roundup: FDA Redefines "Healthy" Label

 

The Food and Drug Administration will re-evaluate its definition of "healthy", which could eventually change how foods are marketed. This comes in light of strong and consistent evidence which supports the recommendation that healthy (unsaturated) fats can and should be a part of a healthy diet. As the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans outlines, unsaturated fats are associated with reduced total and LDL cholesterol as well as reduced heart attacks and cardiovascular disease-related deaths.

Last April, the FDA sent a letter to the makers of KIND bars asking them to remove the “healthy” label on four of their bars. According to current FDA guidelines, to use the “healthy” label, a food must have no more than 1 gram of saturated fat per serving and contain no more than 15 percent of its calories from saturated fat, which the FDA says is not true for these four bars.  Now, a year later, the FDA has reversed its stance and says KIND bars can use the “healthy” label and the FDA is reexamining its definition of “healthy”.

This week’s news roundup brings to you a collection of articles and blog posts related to the FDA redefining “healthy” in light of the KIND bar decision.

FDA reverses stance, affirms KIND can use “healthy” on labels. KIND. “The FDA has confirmed that it intends to reevaluate the regulatory definition of “healthy,” an action that was prompted in part by KIND. The current standard was created with the best intentions 20 years ago, when the benefits of consuming “good fats” (like those found in nuts) were not fully understood. Under the regulation, foods like fat-free chocolate pudding and children’s sugary cereal can bear a healthy nutrient claim, but foods like nuts and avocados can’t.”

Are Kind bars 'healthy'? FDA settles battle over snack label. Today. "Consumers want to make informed food choices and it is the FDA's responsibility to help them by ensuring labels provide accurate and reliable nutrition information. In light of evolving nutrition research, forthcoming Nutrition Facts Labeling final rules, and a citizen petition, we believe now is an opportune time to reevaluate regulations concerning nutrient content claims, generally, including the term 'healthy',"

The FDA Is Going To Change The Definition Of ‘Healthy’ Food. Think Progress. “As more and more and more Americans are trying to make eating decisions based on sound nutrition, marketers are proclaiming their foods as “antioxidant,” “whole-grain,” “heart-healthy,” “gluten-free,” and “natural” — nutrition buzzwords that are largely meaningless in terms of nutritional value, or, in the case of “healthy,” are 20 years out of date.”

FDA to re-evaluate definition of 'healthy'. Yahoo! “The move to rethink "healthy" comes as dietary trends have shifted, with more people expressing concern about sugar and questioning low-fat or low-calorie diets. But any change in the term's regulatory definition could take years. The FDA's final rule on gluten-free labeling, for instance, took more than six years to complete.”

 

 


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

4 Ways to Get Motivated If You (Think You) Hate Exercising

 

Invest in a Fitness Tracker

Whether tracking steps, height climbed, or number of active minutes, fitness trackers can be a great motivational tool. Although the exact accuracy of most trackers is yet to be proven, they can still help motivate you to be more active. Most people will find themselves making small, but meaningful changes. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from the entrance, and going for an after dinner walk are all examples of positive behavior changes that a tracker may help you adopt.

Worried about the cost? Prices typically range from $40 to upwards of $200, depending on desired functionality. Many smart phones now have the ability to track steps as well. Check out these fitness apps.

Try Something New

If you don’t enjoy running, don’t force yourself to do it. There are many other things you can do for cardiovascular exercise, i.e. elliptical, biking, roller skating, skiing, basketball, Zumba, and the list goes on. The same thing goes for strength training. If you have never felt comfortable lifting free weights, try something different like high intensity interval training, body weight training, or kettle-bells.

Finding an exercise that doesn’t feel like “exercise” may be the key. Hiking can be a great way to get outside and see new sights, without realizing you are actually burning a lot of calories. Dance classes are also another way to have fun while staying active.

Start Small

When it comes to exercise, something is better than nothing. Having an “all or nothing” attitude will likely keep you in the “doing nothing” category. Instead of training for a half marathon, start by doing a couch to 5k program. Or, simply start incorporating a couple of 10 minute walks into your day. As your body adjusts, start increasing the length or intensity of your walks. Soon, you will be amazed at your progress and excited to set new goals. The key is to take the first step.

Reward yourself

One of the best ways to train your mind to look forward to, rather than dread, exercise is to reward yourself. Sorry, but we are not talking about food rewards. Instead of enjoying a piece or pizza or ice cream in celebration of an exercise milestone, try to think of ways to reward yourself intrinsically. For example, think of how good you felt after accomplishing your goals. Focus on the rush of endorphins you felt right after finishing your walk/run. If you need a little help getting started, it’s ok to buy yourself a non-food, exercise-related reward, such as a pair of running shoes or a new fitness outfit. Eventually, though, you will want to focus on the mental rewards. This type of thinking will help you retrain your brain into not hating exercise. 


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