What Foods are Healthy? Nutritionists versus Public

Is granola and granola bars as healthy as we really think? (Pic courtesy of Pixabay)

When sitting down for a meal most Americans do know what is healthy to eat. Or so we hope. It’s a safe bet than that a normal person knows that beer, pizza and even bacon are on the short list of unhealthy items. However, the average person might not realize that nutritionists think that sushi and wine are healthy, but a granola bar is not.

The latest research shared in the New York Times about healthy foods even surprised me. Nutritionists find several foods that I thought were off-limits actually healthy. In addition to the sushi (which is planted on the top of my healthy list after getting the green light by nutritionists I don’t know) I’ve also added wine, shrimp and baked potatoes.

This whole idea that the average adult’s perception of what might be healthy versus what really is healthy is intriguing. Think about it. For years people have suggested that granola bars are good for you and a healthy source of nutrition. According to this new information only 28% of nutritionists think granola bars could be described as a healthy food, but 71% of the public describe it that way.

When the public decides on what is healthy or not, there is a certain process that we think about before shoving food into our mouths. Perhaps asking our doctor’s opinion. Maybe it is watching the habits of friends or family. Then sometimes we just turn to Google. It’s not surprising that people search “Is ________ healthy?” The results of what we see online (truth or not) impact our eating habits.

It’s safe to assume that as society grows so does our understanding of food and what we eat. Years ago the idea of eating shrimp was considered “unhealthy” but the guidelines have changed. Another thing that has changed is our consumption of products. With so many varieties of granola bars and other products, it’s still very possible to eat healthy and enjoy what we love, even if the nutritionists deem it unhealthy. However it does require us taking a look at the ingredients on the label and making sure it’s exactly what our body needs.

The moral of this story? I’ve got a real reason to clean out the granola bars in my kitchen. Since the nutritional value is less than I originally thought, I’m glad to dump these rectangle, tasteless blobs to search for something that is enticing and healthy to eat.