Here Are All the "Healthy" Foods That Nutritionists Say Are Anything But

Put down the granola and slowly back away

By Reuben Brody

 
Share This

12 July 2016

What food and fitness media considered to be "healthy" in any given month changes with marketing trends, capricious studies and, seemingly, the wind.

Ergo, your best bet is to keep an eye on the Food and Drug Administration, where fluctuations and major changes tend to be a little more deliberate.

Which is why our ears pricked when, earlier this year, the FDA decided to review its standards on how the word healthy should be applied to food labels. Running with that, the New York Times recently surveyed hundreds of nutritionists and a representative sample of the general electorate to figure out how our perceptions of the word "healthy" measure up to reality.

Some of what they found is unsurprising: we all agree that fast food, sodas and processed foods are unhealthy, and that veggies, fruits and nuts are healthy.

It's the gray areas where things get really interesting. Popcorn, wine, red meat and dairy products? Ordinary folks and nutritionists can’t reach a consensus on those.

Quinoa, meanwhile, is very healthy in the eyes of nutritionists, but less so according to us ordinary eaters. Conversely, most of us think granola, coconut oil and frozen yogurt are healthy. Not so, say the scientifically informed.

Take a look at the list, because it’s interesting and will teach you a thing or two about the realities of dietary concerns versus your own perceptions.

And don't forget the soundest advice we've ever gotten from the Times, as told by food writer and environmentalist Michael Pollan:

“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

Share This