Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, Joe Biden’s new Public Health nutrition advisor and a Tufts University ‘Health Professor’, has been part of a team that claims that processed, high sugar foods such as Lucky Charms, Sweet Potato Fries, chocolate almonds and Honey Nut Cheerios are healthier than lean, skinless chicken, a poached egg or whole grain foods. To quote: “The Tufts Food Compass evaluates foods across 9 domains using a novel food algorithm’ (1)”. It then ranks them by allocating scores between 1 and 100.
Omitted from their healthiest food list were known anti-inflammatory foods such as Extra Virgin olive oil, oily fish, berries, soluble fiber legumes like lentils, and walnuts.
It cannot be forgotten at this point that America is hardly the epitome of healthy eating having given the world such nutritional stalwarts as cornflakes, McDonald’s, high fructose corn syrup, GMO foods and refined trans fat oils, which it previously assured the world were safe. We can hardly expect Americans to suddenly be setting new standards in healthy eating! We also know that junk food and high sugar causes real health problem.
The Tuft’s University team apparently reviewed thousands of products before coming up with their rankings in their Food Compass© which was published in the prestigious Nature Journal.
Chris Woollams, author of the original Rainbow Diet book (2) about the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet said, “The criteria the researchers used are bizarre and completely out of line with our current understanding of what constitutes a healthy food. There are foods that promote gut bacteria known to produce inflammatory compounds in the body – processed, refined and sugar-rich foods are the worst. On the other hand, there are foods known to promote gut bacteria that produce anti-inflammatory compounds in the body. Whole grains, fish, extra virgin olive oil, lean chicken, colourful vegetables, fruits, red wine, nuts and seeds, garlic, onions.
This is not just my personal view; The Rainbow or colourful Mediterranean Diet (3) has been voted the Healthiest Diet in the World by a strong group of top Professors, nutritionists and health experts for three years in a row, (4).
Furthermore, common foods and food groups have already been analysed by Dutch researchers for whether they promoted inflammation, or anti-inflammatory molecules in the body (5). Whole foods and the Rainbow Diet won hands down. To put Honey Nut Cheerios and Lucky Charms at the Top of a healthy foods list is ludicrous and to appoint this man to advise the President sadly reflects on the lack of quality in the current American leadership. This study’s conclusions are, frankly, a joke. The Americans lose yet more credibility in the world.”