Which Health Foods are Healthy?

Interesting new report points out just how difficult it is to determine which foods are good for us and which ones aren’t. It’s not only tough for regular folks to figure out…..even many nutritionists have a hard time agreeing!

From the New York Times:

Is popcorn good for you? What about pizza, orange juice or sushi? Or frozen yogurt, pork chops or quinoa?

Which foods are healthy? In principle, it’s a simple enough question, and a person who wishes to eat more healthily should reasonably expect to know which foods to choose at the supermarket and which to avoid.

Unfortunately, the answer is anything but simple

The New York Times teamed with Morning Consult to poll hundreds of Americans as well as nutritionists to try to get a handle on healthy food. According to a story in Popular Science, “Most of the time, the public knows the difference between junk and health food. Kale, oranges, and apples? Definitely healthy. Cookies and soda? Delicious yet terrible, all agree. But the public and experts disagree on several items in-between. The Americans in this sample considered granola and granola bars to be healthy, while most nutritionists say they’re not great for you. Same goes for fro-yo, coconut oil, and orange juice.”

TastingTable.com put together a couple of interesting health food lists that you can see below.

Here’s a breakdown of the most divisive foods, and the percentage of Americans and nutritionists who think they’re healthy.

  • Granola: 80 percent of Americans vs. 47 percent of nutritionists
  • Granola bars: 71 percent vs. 28 percent
  • Coconut oil: 72 percent vs. 37 percent
  • Frozen yogurt: 66 percent vs. 32 percent
  • Orange juice: 78 percent vs. 62 percent

Across the board, nutritionists consider the following foods healthier than most Americans think they are:

  • Tofu: 57 percent of Americans vs. 85 percent of nutritionists
  • Sushi: 49 percent vs. 75 percent
  • Hummus: 66 percent vs. 90 percent

Why the big discrepancy between the public and the experts? Esquire Magazine writes, “Probably because non-nutritionists do not take added sugars into account, and even our “healthy” foods are full of them. Nature Valley granola bars, for instance, have 11 grams of sugar per serving. Fiber One oat bars have 8 to 10 grams of sugar, depending on the flavor.”

And how much sugar is too much? According to the American Heart Association we should try to limit our intake to six-to-nine teaspoons per day.

Let us know what you think about this new report and whether any of the results surprised you! While we know it will take more than simply eating well to move up the national health rankings….good nutrition and a healthy diet will go a long way toward our long term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!




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