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4 foods that you think are healthy—but nutritionists don’t

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Photo: Jeshoots/Pixabay

There are some things that we just know are good for us, without a shadow of a doubt: vegetables, working out, and drinking lots of water, for example. But there are so many foods that fall into a gray area. Popcorn? Sushi? Whole milk?

A new survey done by the New York Times asked hundreds of Americans and nutritionists about specific foods and whether they think classify as healthy or not, and the results were extremely mixed.

Of course, some foods are no brainers: Soda, cookies, French fries, and ice cream, to name a few, have an unhealthy reputation by both nutritionists and the general public. And the survey shows that nearly everyone considers kale, oatmeal, and carrots to be healthy. Yet there’s a significant number of foods that just cause a lot of confusion.

For instance, the majority of nutritionists consider quinoa, tofu, sushi, hummus, red wine, and shrimp as healthy—but the public doesn’t so readily agree.

As for what foods Americans typically believe are healthy but nutritionists do not, the results all have one thing in common: lots of added sugar. As the article points out, the recent FDA rules for nutrition labels related to added sugar could be more well-known among experts as opposed to the public at this point. Either way, it’s clear that there’s a lot of nutritional haziness out there. Hey, we never said eating healthy is a breeze.

Read on for the four foods rated highly by Americans, but not considered healthy by many nutritionists.

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Photo: Alvoi/Pixabay

Granola bars

This had the widest gap between the public and experts, with over 70 percent of Americans classifying it as healthy while less than half of the nutritionists surveyed describing it as so. Granola itself had a similar outcome.


coconut oil
Photo: Schaon0/Pixabay

Coconut oil

Seventy-two percent of Americans believe coconut oil to be healthy (not surprising), but only 37 percent of nutritionists deemed it good for us.


frozen yogurt
Photo: Robin/Flickr

Frozen yogurt

Another big culprit was the frozen dessert—perhaps because it’s made with yogurt (but also lots of sugar). Sixty-six percent of Americans think it’s healthy, but only 32 percent of nutritionists agree.


orange juice
Photo: Jeshoots/Pixabay

Orange juice

The majority of the public surveyed considered orange juice to be good for them—but not so many nutritionists believe that’s true. Only 62 percent of experts think it’s healthy, which leaves a good chunk of them who don’t think the popular morning beverage is doing you any favors.

Another thing we can agree is not-so-good-for you: diet soda. Here’s how to kick the fizzy habit, for good. And if you’re having trouble avoiding junk food temptations, these scientists may have just done you a solid.