Is _______ Healthy? Your 50 Most Common Food Questions, Answered!
According to Google (and The New York Times), these 50 foods were most common part of the search: “Is [blank] healthy?”
While The New York Times did a great job of telling you the averages of what nutritionists and regular ‘ol people think, they didn’t tell us much about who, exactly, these nutritionists were. And, well, you know how we feel about the faux-food-pushing, diet-everything-loving nutritionists out there!
Needless to say, we figured useful to answer, once and for all, your most pressing “Is [blank] healthy?” questions!
Here you go!
- Sushi. It depends on what you put in it! Salmon and avocado: hell yes! Fried shrimp: not so much!
- Hummus. The less processed, the better, but yup: it’s healthy, especially if you whip up this healthy homemade hummus recipe!
- Popcorn. Just keep it air-popped, butter-free, and homemade and popcorn is a great healthy snack. The movie theater kind? Well, not so much!
- Peanut butter. It should have just one ingredient (dry-roasted peanuts!) and be sugar-free and salt-free. Assuming those things, the answer is a resounding YES!
- Couscous. It’s not our top mini-grain pick (quinoa is, see below!), but it’s definitely a healthy
- Oatmeal. Steel cut oatmeal is uber healthy! Those flavored, just-ass-hot-water packets, less so. But you already knew that, right?! (If you didn’t, know this: the less processed, the better!)
- Tofu. It’s one of the most genetically modified foods, but assuming it’s organic and non-GMO, it’s a great vegan protein!
- Nutella. Everything in moderation, but it’s not exactly a health food!
- Pho. As with most typically-bought-in-restaurant foods, it’s often packed with sodium, but make this homemade Pho recipe (it’s vegan and gluten-free too!) and it’s definitely a healthy choice.
- Quinoa. Duh! Read this.
- Brown rice. Yup! Also healthy! Make it yourself, though, to ensure there are no added (read: yucky) ingredients.
- Granola. Ehhh, this is a tough call but, in general, store-bought granola is a no-go. This homemade granola, though, is a definite yes!
- Shrimp. Yes! Shrimp may be high-in-cholesterol (according to health claims of the 80s), but turns out that the cholesterol in shellfish isn’t something to be too worried about.
- Tuna. Yes, just be cautious of consuming in moderation (ya know, because of the mercury).
- Cottage cheese. This is a tough call. Generally, we don’t love dairy over here. If you are going to eat it, though, stick with the full-fat version. The low-fat varieties have lots of added sugars.
- Rice. Stick with brown rice (see #11) and you’re good to go!
- Honey. All added sugars are still added sugars, but honey is one of the best ones!
- Rye bread. It depends… made from scratch? Go for it! So processed it can sit on a grocery store shelf for 6 months? Skip it.
- Pizza. You already know the answer to this (at least when it comes to the delivery kind!).
- Tilapia. Yes! (Although the healthiness of the finished dish will depend on the preparation.) Here’s a healthy tilapia recipe for you!
- Watermelon. ABSOLUTELY! See here!
- Guacamole. Not only do we not want to live in a world where guacamole doesn’t exist, it’s also damn good for you with its heart-healthy fats. Well, the homemade kinds are anyway – here are 3 recipes for you!
- White rice. Brown is better, but white isn’t bad for you. It’s just stripped of its healthy fiber.
- Cheese. If we’re talking about the orange squares the answer is, well: nope… but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve treats! Fresh cheeses aren’t “unhealthy” but they’re no health food.
- Stevia. Calling this “healthy” is a gross exaggeration since it doesn’t have any benefits, per se, but it’s way better than white sugar!
- Dark chocolate. It’s definitely a healthier chocolate (and it is packed with antioxidants) but it’s not exactly an apple so, ya know, let’s be real!
- Coconut milk. Making your own? Yup, it’s great for you! In a can? Not so much.
- Pork. It’s not bad for you… we’ll just leave it there.
- Canned tuna. See #14. Oh, and also make sure the cans are BPA-free.
- Feta cheese. See #24.
- Polenta. Depends on how you prepare it.
- Frozen yogurt. No, but, #TreatYoSelf (sometimes, anyway!).
- Beef jerky. It’s about as processed as it gets. So, no.
- Coffee. Studies are mixed, but we say yes!
- Falafel. Probably not… but there is the rare exception (of the raw or baked kind).
- Chinese food. The greasy NYC delivery kind of fried mystery meat in a syrupy sauce is definitely not healthy. But that’s not to say that all Chinese food is unhealthy. As with any cuisine, it largely depends on what you order!
- Juicing. A lot of juices are loaded with sugars and skimp on the nutrients. Smoothies are better, because you get all the fiber).
- Greek yogurt. The probiotics and protein make this your best yogurt option (so long as it’s unsweetened, of course).
- Brown sugar. It’s still sugar.
- Chicken. Yes it’s healthy, so long as it’s not fried in canola oil and doused in cheese!
- Sparkling water. Yes! It’s an especially great soda substitute for cola-lovers.
- Turkey bacon. Probably not.
- Yogurt. Greek yogurt is better, unsweetened is mandatory. (Although, we’ll repeat: we’re not big dairy fans over here. That said, if you do eat dairy, yogurt isn’t a poor choice.)
- Salmon. Seriously?! This is HELL F’ING YES.
- Sourdough bread. See #18.
- Smoked salmon. It’s not as good for you as fresh salmon is because it (at best) is loaded with sodium (and at worst is packed with sugar too). But it’s never the less a great protein source.
- Dried fruit. It’s not as healthy as fresh fruit, but if we’re comparing it to candy, yes, it’s a great choice.
- Miso soup. Homemade miso soup is great for you! The instant kind in a packet: much less so!
- Indian food. Depends on what you order!
- Basmati rice. See #11, #16, and #23.
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