Friday, July 15, 2016

The science -- and science fiction -- of eating healthy

One of the reasons it’s not always easy to find healthy food on a budget is that there’s sometimes a big difference between what you think is good for you and what really is nutritious.

Take granola bars, for example. 70 percent of Americans surveyed said that granola bars are healthy, while just 28 percent of nutritionists agreed with them, according to a report in The New York Times.

The newspaper studied nutrition perception and reality by surveying consumers and nutritionists, then compared the results to see where the two groups agree and disagree the most. The biggest gap between the two groups was over granola bars, but other foods such as coconut oil and diet shakes were widely seen as healthy by the public, and much less so by nutritionists.

That relationship was seen in reverse, too. The study shows that 89 percent of nutritionists say quinoa is good for you, but only 48 percent of the public agreed. And 85 percent of nutritionists see tofu as healthy, while just 57 percent of the of public feels the same way.

But nearly all nutritionists and consumers surveyed agreed that oranges, apples, oatmeal, and chicken could be described as healthy and that chocolate chip cookies, bacon, white bread and soda could not.

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