FDA Warns KIND to Drop ‘Healthy’ Label

After reviewing the labels of four types of KIND bars, the Food and Drug Administration found that the company is mislabeling products as healthy.

The FDA has specific criteria that products must meet in order to be advertised as healthy, as detailed in a letter from the agency.

In the letter, William Correll, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety, wrote that KIND’s Almond & Apricot, Almond & Coconut, Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate + Protein, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants bars didn’t “meet the requirements for use of the nutrient content claim ‘healthy.’ ”

According to NPR, the FDA took issue with KIND’s use of “plus” to advertise extra antioxidants, fiber, or protein: “The bar has to contain 10 percent more of the nutrients than a bar the FDA has deemed representative of the snack bar category” to be able to use the word or symbol.

Another complaint related to saturated fat content. One KIND bar contains 5 grams of saturated fat per 40 grams of the food, while the FDA says that products have to contain 1 gram or less of saturated fat in order to be deemed “healthy.”

KIND responded on its website saying that it will work alongside the FDA to correct the labels. But of the items the agency pinpointed, KIND said that the standard of fat per serving is the one that resonates most with the company.

“Nuts, key ingredients in many of our snacks and one of the things that make fans love our bars, contain nutritious fats that exceed the amount allowed under the FDA’s standard,” the company said.

Walter Willett, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard University, agrees that nuts are “probably one of the healthiest choices you can make in a diet” because they reduce the bad form of cholesterol and lower rates of heart disease and mortality, according to the NPR story. He adds that the FDA’s response to KIND’s label is based on outdated guidelines.

While the company will work with the FDA to make the appropriate changes to its labels, the KIND team says the recipes will remain the same.

Do you agree that KIND bars aren’t as healthy as advertised, or should the FDA update its guidelines? Share your thoughts below.

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