Oct. 16, 2021 – Mozaffarian and colleagues created what they call the Food Compass by applying the latest science on nutrition to examine both the healthy and harmful aspects of more than 8,000 foods and drinks — from raw veggies and natural juices to highly processed cereals, fast-food burgers, and even some popular mixed meals — and ranked each one from one (terrible) to 100 (best).

The full study is published today in the journal Nature Food. One catch: Without a subscription to the journal, for now, you’ll have to rely on my overview of the findings.

The study does not single out any one best or worst food item—hundreds of basic foods score at or near 100, and a slew of concoctions are at or near one, with thousands between.

The researchers encourage people to eat foods that score 70 or higher, avoid those that score 30 or lower, and consume the stuff in the middle in moderation. No surprise, some of the worst scores were among highly processed or prepared foods—those with lots of ingredients, often including added sugar, salt, butter, sour cream, and the like.


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