We all know the importance of eating well to stay healthy — certain foods can make our hair grow to Rapunzel lengths, and some foods can even help you to fall asleep faster. To help us all eat better, scientists at Tufts University have developed a new dietary guide titled ‘The Food Compass’ to help us know which foods to reach for to get the nutrients we need.
Using data from 54 different nutritional characteristics that are connected to the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and more, the guide measures food in order to create a ranking of the best to worst foods in terms of the health implications caused by the foods.
The Food Compass uses a score for all foods, beverages, including meals made up of different foods. On the scale, one is the least healthy and 100 is the most healthy. Researchers analyzed more than 8,000 foods to see which ones positively impact health the most.
It doesn’t come as a shock, but the lowest-scoring category was comprised of processed snacks and sweet desserts that scored around 16.4. The highest scoring categories and healthiest foods on the scale were vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, which ranked from 69 into the 70s. Fish and seafood were also scored high, and many fish are near 100 if cooked simply.
The next time you’re not sure if it’s worth it to whip up a salad or chop up some fresh fruit to munch on, check out the guide to see the benefits.