Everyone wants a piece of the health food market, including the coconut industry. Coconut growers have been touting the increasingly popular ingredient as a superfood. But the Food and Drug Administration begs to differ, essentially saying that coconuts will never qualify as “healthy.”
It turns out that the FDA has very specific requirements products must meet in order to be called healthy. Among those guidelines is that they must contain one gram of fat or less per reference amount (the amount used to calculate a serving size). Coconut clocks in way beyond that: A cup of coconut meat, for example, has about 24 grams of saturated fat.
“You will never be able to say the word ‘healthy’ with coconut products because coconut is so high in saturated fats,” Food Navigator quotes a food and drug lawyer, Justin Prochnow, as saying. (He also mentions that coconut waters don’t have the same problem. It applies only to the flesh.)
This issue came to light after the FDA posted a letter to its website warning Premier Organics that its Artisana Coconut Butter Whole Coconut Flesh cannot make a claim to be healthy, as it had intended to. The FDA went on to specify that the violation was “minor,” but certainly other groups making coconut products will take notice.
Turns out that a remote desert island in the middle of the ocean is about the least healthy place you can live, for a lot of reasons.