Survey confirms people think these foods are healthier, they're actually not

Reckon you’ve got the whole ‘healthy eating’ thing down pat? A survey from The New York Times asked the experts and regular, grocery shoppers from the public to determine which of 52 foods presented to them were ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’ and the results might surprise you.

Of course you and your nutritionist are going to agree that things like burgers and fries and other obvious junk foods are not really good for you, what about things like orange juice or cheese?

The biggest differences between nutritionists and the public are outlined below.

1. Muesli bars
There’s been a lot of talk recently about muesli bars being nothing but a glorified sweet. A lot of muesli bars are packed full of sugar.

A similar concern exists for breakfast cereals, especially ones like granola with nutritionists saying a lot of breakfast cereals that claim to be healthy are high in calories and fat. To ensure you don’t overeat your cereal stick to a 1/4 cup, which is the actual portion size.

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Seventy-one per cent of the public thought muesli bars and granola cereals were healthy for them while only 28 per cent of nutritionists agreed.

2. Coconut oil
Coconut oil has been increasing in popularity in recent years, but only 37 per cent of nutritionists believe it’s healthy for you (compared to 72 per cent of the public). While there are claims the saturated fats of coconut oil are metabolised faster than other fats, there is still a very strong case supporting the use of olive oil in a healthy diet.

3. Frozen yoghurt
What?! Frozen yoghurt isn’t a healthy dessert. Turns out, no. Nutritionists confirm that most frozen yoghurt dessert treats are full of sugar, and the non-frozen variety is definitely better for you. Only 32 per cent of them agree the frozen variety is good for you. The best way to check how good the product is for you is to check the label carefully — flavours and fat content change.

4. Orange juice
Yes, orange juice! Surely this citrus drink is a good source of vitamin C. Well, yes it is and 62 per cent of nutritionists agree it’s good for you. However, you’ll get far more beneficial vitamins from eating the whole fruit. While a glass of juice is okay here and there snacking down on an orange gives you an additional dose of fibre and changes the fruit’s sugar content on your bloodstream.

5. Cheese
While cheese is a source of dairy, one of the things you need to be aware of is that overly processed varieties contain whey protein concentrate. Of the two proteins — casein and whey — in milk whey protein is separated from casein and forms as a by-product of cheese making. It’s considered a complete protein and has all the essential amino acids. Interestingly, only 24 per cent of the nutritionists surveyed believe cheese is good for you, while 39 per cent of the public said it was a healthy food.

Were you surprised by these results? What are your favourite healthy foods?