Eating good food and eating food that’s good for you isn’t always the same thing. We love food and sometimes the food we love isn’t the best food we could be putting in our bodies. Part of that is simple taste. We get used to eating certain foods and start craving them more often. Another part of that is education. There is so much information (and misinformation) out there making declarations about how “good” or “bad” a certain food is. It all makes it hard to get out of the weeds when it comes to nutrition.
Over at the BBC, they set out to figure which foods are the best for you nutritionally. Their scientists parsed several studies of raw foods, food encyclopedias, and guidelines for a healthy diet set out by the USDA to come up with the best of the best. What they ended up with was a ranking of “the ingredients that provide the best balance of your daily nutritional requirements.”
It should go without saying that adding in the USDA guidelines is a little spurious, given that most of those guidelines were based on fat being the most evil that ever evil-ed. The USDA used this as a basis for diets that have been unanimously rebuked by science in the recent years. Beyond that, the list is fairly straightforward. The scientists behind it are trying to deduce which foods will be the best in meeting our daily nutritional needs. There’s a scoring system with the foods that are the most nutritious scoring close to 100 points. What stands out is that the foods in the bottom of the list have basically half the nutritional value as those at the top of the list.
There are some interesting additions in “The 100 Most Nutritious Foods.” Sweet potatoes, pumpkins, ginger, and broccoli start out at the bottom of the 100; which doesn’t mean they aren’t still good for you. It just means they aren’t as amazingly nutritional as the rest, we guess. At the very least it gives you another reason to pass on the broccoli since it only got a 50 out of 100 on the ol’ nutritional value calculator. And that’s according to science, yo!
Overall, the list is made up of a lot of leafy vegetables, sweet and savory fruits, oily fish and white fish, and plenty of spices and herbs. Interesting blips come up now and again like fish eggs, scallops, and clams ranking as nutritious as collards, basil, and cilantro.
Then comes the top ten. Red snapper and beet greens come in at ten and nine respectively. Seems fair. Snapper is a deep water white fish and beet greens are leafy and fresh. At number eight is pork fat. The article claims that pork fat is “a good source of B vitamins and minerals. Pork is more unsaturated, and healthier, than lamb or beef fat.” So, basically, it might be time to start cooking with pork lard.
The top five most nutritious foods are as follows:
They “contain high amounts of dietary fiber, protein, a-linolenic acid, phenolic acids, and vitamins.”