Food Manufacturers May Be Confused, but Nature Isn’t

by | Dec 18, 2021 | Nutrition

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For dietary supplements, food manufacturers must provide evidence that a structure/function claim is truthful and not misleading. But surprisingly, this is NOT true of conventional food.

The government regulates not just the nutrition facts label on packaged foods, but also what food manufacturers can claim anywhere on the food package. Such food product claims are often found on the front of the package. One type describes the effect of a nutrient or ingredient on the structure or function of the body and is called, appropriately enough, the structure/function claim. One of the most recognizable claims is “calcium builds strong bones.”

For dietary supplements, food manufacturers must provide evidence that a structure/function claim is truthful and not misleading. But surprisingly, this is NOT true of conventional food.  For such foods the FDA does not require conventional food manufacturers to even notify them about structure/function claims. [1] And attempts to regulate such claims have become increasingly complicated.

Making things even more confusing for the consumer, the foods with the most legitimate structure/function claims usually don’t have them, because they seldom come in packages.  These are all foods with ingredients that are known to have positive impact on body function:

Calcium: Broccoli, dark, leafy greens, sardines

Potassium: Avocados, bananas, cantaloupe, raisins, nuts, fish, spinach, dark greens

Fiber: Legumes, beans, peas, whole-grains, seeds, apples, strawberries, carrots, raspberries

Magnesium: Black beans, spinach, peas, almonds

Vitamin A: Eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe

Vitamin C: Oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi, broccoli, red and green bell peppers

Vitamin E: Nuts, seeds, whole-grains, avocados, dark leafy greens

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Such real foods also contain many compounds that have a role in the countless chemical reactions occurring in the body that are crucial for health. While they may not have persuasive marketing copy plastered on the outside, they have been proven to reduce the risk of physical health problems.

Instead of relying on a manufacturer whose business may depend on convincing you that a product has health benefits, the savvy decision is to trust Mother Nature to provide the nutrients your body needs to function properly.

Fundamentals of Health Alliance

Fundamentals of Health Alliance

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The Fundamentals of Health Alliance works to publish useful and reliable information about nutrition and health. Their mission is to empower readers to be informed with honest, non-biased information about food, nutrition and the vital components of health.

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