Healthy, Fortified and Enriched: Three Words You Should be Aware of When Choosing Your Food

Jan 21, 2016 09:40 PM EST | By Shilpa Chakravorty

Although people are told daily by doctors to take in "healthy" food, it is not defined as what should be considered "healthy" and what not. Thus, the general notion is to think that kale salad that we take in daily is healthy, while the big Mac that we consume occasionally might not be so.

However, on closer inspection, it can be seen that kale is not healthy, but nutritious. They might also be delicious depending on the type of dishes prepared with it.

"'Healthy' is a bankrupt word," Roxanne Sukol, preventive medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic mentioned to Independent. "Our food isn't healthy. We are healthy. Our food is nutritious. I'm all about the words. Words are the key to giving people the tools they need to figure out what to eat. Everyone's so confused."

Last March, a letter was sent to Kind, the nut-bar maker by Food and Drug Administration, mentioning that the word "healthy" on their packaging was a violation as almonds contained too much fat.

Consequently, Kind asked FDA to re-evaluate the definition of "healthy" with a citizens' petition.

The nomenclature of food products, along with the FDA regulations, makes the packaging of food more complex than necessary.

For example, although Kraft Cheese slices cannot be called cheese yet they should be labeled as "cheese product". Similarly, Pringles cannot be called "chips", yet must be labeled so.

Additionally, some packaged foods can be labeled as "natural" or "natural" although there's little difference between both.

Along with the word "healthy", "refined" is yet another confusing term, which has changed the shopping trends of US citizens.

When applied in real life, "refined" means cultured, good mannered and elegant in appearance, or with the impurities removed. However, for the food companies have been calling wheat refined, which in essence has all the good qualities (like fiber, oil, vitamins, which make the wheat nutritious) removed.
Additionally, once the product has been "refined", it is found that it is devoid of nutrients, and thus vitamins and minerals are once again added, which in turn creates the terms "enriched" and "fortified."

Thus, at the end of the day, while buying a food product, one should consider if it is nutritious or not, because depending on the nutrients, human body will be enriched, and not on the term "healthy".

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