Here’s What Nutritionists in America Consider to be “Healthy” Foods

Have you been researching everything under the sun and trying to the find the healthiest option for different meals? Because you might want to stop doing that right now. Apparently the foods that most of us consider ‘healthy’ is actually not that healthy and what we consider to be ‘unhealthy’ might just be what your body needs.

According to a report in the New York Times, the Food and Drug Administration recently agreed to review its standards for what foods can be called “healthy,” changing the way America and the world looks at their food.

The New York Times, along with Morning Consult, a media and polling firm, surveyed hundreds of nutritionists – members of the American Society for Nutrition – and asked them whether they considered certain food times healthy or not. Prepare to be amazed.

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A lot of the foods that were considered healthy (like frozen yogurt, shakes or granola bars) contain a lot of added sugar. Earlier this year, the FDA even announced new nutrition labels where the main priority was to distinguish between sugars that naturally occur in food and the sugars that are added to heighten flavours. Which is why a lot of the things on the above list aren’t considered healthy by nutritionists.

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On this list, however, it’s not surprising to see quinoa or hummus on the list, for they have been considered healthy for a while. Quinoa is even considered a “superfood” and a lot of recipes everywhere in the world suggest that you use quinoa in your cooking. Wine has had a back and forth relationship with being healthy and while this survey was conducted in America and by Americans, a lot of this is still applicable to other parts of the world. 

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Nothing on this list will surprise us, because for years nutritionists world wide have spoken about how junk food is unhealthy thanks to the fat and the added sugars and the like. While diet soda has a strange relationship in the healthy section of foods, most wouldn’t recommend it anyway. But hamburgers, pizzas, cookies and even white bread is not a surprising addition to this list.

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Surprisingly to most, all fruits aren’t healthy. Even if it’s natural sugars found in the fruits, it’s still very high and obviously isn’t good for you. But that doesn’t change the fact that some fruits are definitely healthier than others. It is also known that white meat is better than red meat, so the presence of chicken and turkey doesn’t come as a surprise. Baked foods in general are healthier than fried foods and that’s where baked potatoes come in.

What really matters is how you eat and what you eat. At the end of the day, you can check every nutritional label and count your calories and starve yourself of your favourite things, but what really counts is what you eat and how you eat it. Eating healthy isn’t always the easiest thing in the world, but it’s one that lots of people can do if they set their minds to it. While this survey was conducted as an informational piece, it’s definitely good to keep certain things in mind when planning your food and diet. Avoiding high calorie, high sugar content food is important. Trying new things and experimenting with homemade food is another important factor. It’s crucial to be aware of what does work and what doesn’t, because if your body doesn’t agree with it, then you won’t actually be able to maintain a good and strict diet.

All graphs are from the New York Times article.