Public And Experts Disagree On Which Foods Are Healthy

Granola bars may appear to be healthy, but are full of sugar (that's why they're delicious). baibaz/Shutterstock
Josh Davis 08 Jul 2016, 17:50

We’re used to being swamped with dietary advice. One article tells us that sugar is the enemy, another that we should be eating more fat. But how does this translate into how we perceive many common foods? A survey, carried out by the New York Times, looked into how healthy the public thought 52 foods were, and then compared it to what nutritionists thought. The answers, it seems, are quite telling.

Some obvious items were consistently identified as being terrible for your health by both the public and the nutritionists, namely soda, chocolate chip cookies, and French fries, which is hardly surprising. And, conversely, there were those ranked as the healthiest by both groups, including spinach, kale, almonds, and carrots. But there were some items of food that Americans believed were healthier than the experts think that they actually are, and those that nutritionists rate as being good for you, while the public is less certain.

One of the biggest discrepancies were for granola bars. While over 70 percent of the public think that granola bars are “healthy”, this view is only shared by 28 percent of nutritionists. The actual truth is that while the bar may pertain to be healthy, they are actually stuffed with sugar. A similar picture emerges for coconut oil (72 percent of the public, compared to 37 percent of experts) and frozen yogurt (66 percent public, 32 percent experts).

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