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The Scoop on “Functional Foods”

So what exactly are “functional foods?” Ironically, functional foods are more than simply functional. They offer extra, sometimes unexpected, benefits that other foods do not. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet specified a regulatory category of functional foods. However, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics defines a functional food as: “a food that provides additional health benefits that may reduce disease risk and/or promote good health.” According to the Academy’s website,, functional foods include:

  • Conventional foods such as grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts.
  • Modified foods such as yogurt, cereals and orange juice.
  • Medical foods such as special formulations of foods and beverages for certain health conditions.
  • Foods for special dietary use such as infant formula and hypoallergenic foods.

The following Huffington Post article considers if and how the idea of “functional foods” can be used to combat some of the biggest nutritional problems in the U.S. today.

Functional Foods: A Fix to Highlight after National Nutrition Month

By Michael Zacka
April 1, 2014

Here’s an interesting question, considering that March was National Nutrition Month in the U.S. What country offers its residents the best access to balanced, nutritious diets? Not the U.S., which ranks 21 out of 125 according to Oxfam’s just-released study, “Good Enough to Eat,” which evaluates diets worldwide. That study puts the US behind the Netherlands, almost all of Western Europe and Australia. But even more disturbingly, the report notes the U.S. ranks 120 out of 125 when the researchers look at its diabetes and obesity rates.

Click here to read more…

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Original Post By: The Huffington Post

CATEGORIES: Healthy Lifestyles


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