Highlights

  • Scientists develop Food Compass to rank foods based on healthfulness
  • Raspberry takes the top spot with a perfect 100 score
  • Fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts and seeds all rank on the higher end

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Want to eat healthy? Let this new scientific Food Compass be your guide

Snacks and sweet desserts are the lowest-scoring categories in a new healthful ranking of foods.

The science of food can be pretty intimidating with numerous studies and claims coming up every day. In a bid to solve this conundrum, scientists have developed a ‘Food Compass’ that scores over 8,000 foods based on their overall healthfulness and drawbacks.

Raspberries took the top spot with a perfect 100 score. The high rankers were fruits with an average score of 73.9, vegetables at 69.1 and legumes, nuts, and seeds, got an average score of 78.6. While the lowest-scoring category was snacks and sweet desserts with an average score of 16.4.

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Published in the journal Nature, the study also assessed complete foods like a pizza or a burger and had some intriguing findings. For example, it was found that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with white bread had a very similar score as a grilled cheese sandwich with whole wheat bread. Similarly, a thick crust, extra meat pizza scored 6 points higher than corn flakes cereal.

The team says this is the first consistent food profiling system and can help in comparing combinations of food and beverages for a person’s daily diet pattern, or perhaps a portfolio of foods sold by a particular company.

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