Watch CBSN Live

Good For You Goodies

While you're stocking up on holiday goodies this season -- things you may know are fattening or artery-clogging -- you might find some new foods on the grocery shelves that are actually good for you.

Says Bruce Silverglade of the Center For Science in the Public Interest, "Consumers today can find so-called functional foods that can improve your energy, improve your memory, make you think better -- almost everything under the sun."

CBS News Correspondent Elizabeth Kaledin reports that from juices that promise to build your bones to cookies that promote better digestion, many of these "functional foods" actually deliver. The butter substitute Benecol, for instance, has been shown to lower cholesterol by up to 15 percent.

But in order to reap the benefits, you have to use it, either as a spread or salad dressing, three times a day. And at around $5 a bottle, that solution isn't a cheap one.

With sales of functional foods expected to top $3 billion this year, drug companies are eager to tap into the health-conscious Baby Boomer market, pouring millions into developing new foods that can claim health benefits.

Food Analyst Bill Leach says, "I think taste is always foremost, and value is a very important proposition, and if you go throw in some health characteristics, it's an added benefit."

Given their prices, a lot of these foods are not exactly flying off the shelves. And despite the fact that they've been OK'd by the Food and Drug Administration, some health conscious consumers are still worried about eating any foods with added ingredients.

"I think you have to be careful about what you eat, and, the purer the product -- the least amount of ingredients in it -- the better it is for you," says consumer Carrie Hochberg.

So far, these new foods only represent about 1 percent of the market. Whether they're ultimately successful in luring consumers away from high-fat, high-calorie products may depend less on their health benefits, and more on how they taste.
©MMII CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue