Nobody knows what Healthy Food means

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Replies

  • kommodevaran
    kommodevaran Posts: 17,890 Member
    It's not so much that the "traffic light" system isn't perfect, it's more that it is completely useless.
  • upoffthemat
    upoffthemat Posts: 679 Member
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    If anyone was interested, this is the guidelines we have in place and why. The UK has slightly more than the EU requirement and as people have said below there is even an acknowledgement that the RI is not relevant for everybody as individual circumstances differ. https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/healthyeating/labels.html?limit=1&start=1
    (this is for info only - not me saying it is perfect lol)

    I looked at this, and this is how the Kind bar would fare (I used the new Almond Pumpkin Spice one, but they are all similar):

    Fat: RED
    Sat fat: RED
    Sugar: AMBER
    Salt: GREEN

    I wouldn't find that especially helpful. I would find looking at the calories per serving (a bar) and reading the ingredients, as well as looking at the actual numbers helpful, which is why I've done this with bars that I consider eating.

    Well yeah exactly - it isn't perfect - what do you reckon Salmon fillets have in the fat column...red lol

    Then how is it actually making it simpler or really helping people? One of the reasons MFP focuses on macros and Calories is because it is a fairly easy high level way to look at food and get a nutritious diet out of it. If people just did those basics we would be far better off, but as was said above some people don't want to learn.
    Nutrition can be a deep dark rabbit hole if you want to get obsessive about it and go into micronutrients and all the other extraneous things that may help a small percentage. Add in super foods, good food, bad food, vegan, keto, lchf, etc and people can easily get confused and miss the forest for the trees.
    For losing weight Calories are king
    For proper nutrition, mind your macros

    For anything beyond that, you are out of beginner courses and really out of what you need to know unless you have a medical reason for a certain type of diet. Nice to know, but not need to know.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    Lol..so you dont think labelling food healthy is a good thing?

    Not particularly. To put this in context, it's about packaged products being able to market themselves as "healthy." Out of context, who knows whether a Kind bar is healthy or not. IMO, it has some ingredients I like to include in my diet, some I probably get more than enough of anyway, and on its own isn't "healthy," although it can be part of a healthful diet, sure. (I like them, I eat them occasionally, but I actually think my diet would be better if I didn't, since they basically act as candy bars that I eat at work when stress eating and when I don't really need to be eating anything and they are not low cal.)
    We have food labelling here and it does help if you are trying to stay under your goals

    Do you seriously think that we don't have food labeling?

    Do you have a "healthy" label? If so, out of curiosity, how is it defined/used? (Oh, I see, the green, yellow, red thing.)

    IMO, the "healthy" label (just like cereals calling themselves "heart heathy" or whatever) does absolutely nothing to help people make better choices. I think they substitute for reading the label, which is a much better choice (and also prevents people from thinking that something is healthy so they can eat unlimited amounts of it).

    As usual I seem to take centre stage for presenting points. Easier to disect a point than it is to make one. First quote you have used one line taking what I said out of context. I know we don't label food healthy or unhealthy, gets said to me every single day...

    I wasn't intending to take you out of context and I think you are misreading my post somewhat. The fact is we (as a society, both in the US and UK) DO permit labeling foods healthy or not -- that's what's under debate, under what circumstances should manufacturers in the US be able to use a "healthy" label and the red/yellow/green labels operate the same way in the UK.

    My view is that this is not particularly useful and can be misleading. (I don't have strong feelings about whether it should be permitted or not, but if I were to vote on it I'd vote against.) I come from a particular POV in that I don't eat a lot of packaged stuff that isn't extremely obvious what's in it (like dried pasta, canned or dried beans), and I'm a long-time label reader. I think we should help educate people in the really quite simple principles of nutrition and not confuse the issue by debating whether individual foods are healthy or not when the amount consumed and how it is consumed matters a lot more. (A kind bar, with a good percentage of the calories -- and the reason for the high fat -- being from nuts is probably a pretty decent snack. Is it super healthy and something we should go out of our way to add to an already calorie sufficient and nutritious diet? IMO, not unless you are doing it because you really like it and want to make room. How do you come up with colors that convey this on a box?)

    If you did not mean to suggest that the US does not already have food labeling with your comment about the food labeling there, then I misunderstood. It was a genuine misunderstanding which I appreciate you clarifying, not an effort to score points, which would be pretty pointless and silly and not something I do.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    If anyone was interested, this is the guidelines we have in place and why. The UK has slightly more than the EU requirement and as people have said below there is even an acknowledgement that the RI is not relevant for everybody as individual circumstances differ. https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/healthyeating/labels.html?limit=1&start=1
    (this is for info only - not me saying it is perfect lol)

    I looked at this, and this is how the Kind bar would fare (I used the new Almond Pumpkin Spice one, but they are all similar):

    Fat: RED
    Sat fat: RED
    Sugar: AMBER
    Salt: GREEN

    I wouldn't find that especially helpful. I would find looking at the calories per serving (a bar) and reading the ingredients, as well as looking at the actual numbers helpful, which is why I've done this with bars that I consider eating.

    Well yeah exactly - it isn't perfect - what do you reckon Salmon fillets have in the fat column...red lol

    And to me that would be an unacceptable system, then.
  • auddii
    auddii Posts: 15,357 Member
    edited September 2016
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    Lol..so you dont think labelling food healthy is a good thing? Not everyone possesses the knowledge that you guys do. A balanced diet is all well and good but some people want to eat "healthy foods". I think it is a good move for people that dont know the info you guys have. We have food labelling here and it does help if you are trying to stay under your goals

    Jake-- I feel really sorry for someone that has to rely on labeling to hit their goals. I don't think it's going to happen.

    Thanks for the pity ;) . What I mean is when im rushing to grab a sandwich in supermarket at lunch having green, yellow and red colour coding helps to see what sarnie I want to aim for. What isnt gonna happen?

    That to work, isn't going to happen. Nutrition is so complex that you need some knowledge, and you can't rely on single points or "quick" solutions. But nutrition for healthy individuals isn't complicated, so that knowledge can be quite basic.

    I agree with you, although many on here believe the simple cico system works and that is a basic points system really (just saying). I'm talking as a novice myself. Obviously growing up I have known that vegetables are "nutritious" (words on here, have to be so careful how I word foods) and foods with high saturated fats are 'less preferable'. Before coming on here I didn't think my food choices were that bad, but since being on here and reading up from magazines and websites I have seen my diet wasn't that great. Basically I'm saying I know what it is to be ignorant and not have a healthy knowledge of diet and nutrition. I agree knowledge needs to be given but any step in the right direction is a start - doing nothing is worst

    CICO is for weight management. It has nothing to do with nutrients.

    And whose idea of healthy would you go for for labelling those sandwiches?
    Does the tuna sandwich get green because lots of protein? Yellow because it's not so low in calories because of mayonaise? Or maybe even red because it has bread and thus isn't low carb friendly?


    It gets broken down here into 4 catagories and each gets a label based on the quantity. Catagories are calories/fat/saturates/salt and this is on pretty much every product in large retailers

    Interesting, it seems that they're following very similar guidelines for what the FDA is using for "healthy", lower fat and calorie focused. They just have a color coded system, but again, it's on the same flawed logic. Fruits and veggies aren't labeled, but if they were, I'd guess avocados would be at least an orange dot if not red. Same with a package of nuts, peanut butter, or a container of olive oil.

    And while it's not color coded, the FDA has started a "facts up front" initiative. http://www.factsupfront.org/


    ETA: I kept reading. It's more than one dot. Yeah, I'd kind of get analysis paralysis if there were 4-5 dots and some were green and some were red. I guess your doctor could say, well focus on the second dot from the right only because that the most important to your personal medical history, but the chances of that happening...
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 7,716 Member
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    Lol..so you dont think labelling food healthy is a good thing? Not everyone possesses the knowledge that you guys do. A balanced diet is all well and good but some people want to eat "healthy foods". I think it is a good move for people that dont know the info you guys have. We have food labelling here and it does help if you are trying to stay under your goals

    Jake-- I feel really sorry for someone that has to rely on labeling to hit their goals. I don't think it's going to happen.

    Thanks for the pity ;) . What I mean is when im rushing to grab a sandwich in supermarket at lunch having green, yellow and red colour coding helps to see what sarnie I want to aim for. What isnt gonna happen?

    That to work, isn't going to happen. Nutrition is so complex that you need some knowledge, and you can't rely on single points or "quick" solutions. But nutrition for healthy individuals isn't complicated, so that knowledge can be quite basic.

    I agree with you, although many on here believe the simple cico system works and that is a basic points system really (just saying). I'm talking as a novice myself. Obviously growing up I have known that vegetables are "nutritious" (words on here, have to be so careful how I word foods) and foods with high saturated fats are 'less preferable'. Before coming on here I didn't think my food choices were that bad, but since being on here and reading up from magazines and websites I have seen my diet wasn't that great. Basically I'm saying I know what it is to be ignorant and not have a healthy knowledge of diet and nutrition. I agree knowledge needs to be given but any step in the right direction is a start - doing nothing is worst

    CICO is for weight management. It has nothing to do with nutrients.

    And whose idea of healthy would you go for for labelling those sandwiches?
    Does the tuna sandwich get green because lots of protein? Yellow because it's not so low in calories because of mayonaise? Or maybe even red because it has bread and thus isn't low carb friendly?


    It gets broken down here into 4 catagories and each gets a label based on the quantity. Catagories are calories/fat/saturates/salt and this is on pretty much every product in large retailers

    Conflating the complex AND complicating the simple. No wonder you are confused, if you think those labels are going to help you. You won't improve your knowledge (or health) until you accept that it's a dead end. Let it go. Instead, learn what normal, balanced meals look like, and how to combine normal, balanced meals into daily menus. It's not difficult. But you have to accept that you have been misguided, and need to think differently.

    Excuse me? Who do you think you are patronising? I'm not confused, I am talking about food labels in the UK, not saying I base my whole diet on them - saying they are a guide. I have been at this for a year and have successfully lost 8kg in total, dropped a jean waist size and building nice bit of muscle. You have no clue about me so shouldn't make assumptions. At least Mr Closer is being fair and having good points without judging people

    Initially I was going to halfway ignore your comment, but I did feel a little hurt, not really seeing where this came from, I didn't think I was judging or patronising - I have been wavering between "troll" and "newbie"; but I understand that you didn't like what I wrote. Food and eating is such a personal thing, and we all have our hangups. I think maybe a full disclosure is in order. I'm not an expert. But I don't really think experts and expertise should have a big part in this field. I was brought up on home cooked food, and I had home economics in school, the food pyramid and food groups feel instictive, and I'm very familiar with the nutritional guidelines (they are pretty similar all over the world. Brazil is an exception.) I have tried to stick to those eating rules, but I have never managed for very long, and I always felt it was a personal flaw. I have been obese, I have dieted, and generally struggled with food and eating and fear of gaining weight and getting sick, for over 20 years. It wasn't until 2013, when a lot happened at the same time - I started to get critical, I started to educate myself, and I discovered MFP. The food diary and the community are both awesome. It turns out I hadn't really been struggling to eat healthily, I had been struggling trying to follow unnecessary rules, and rules I didn't understand the reasoning for. Losing all those misconceptions about nutrition, and instead getting in the basics, helped me fix my relationship with food, and has made weight management a breeze.

    I live in Norway, and we have a system similar to the traffic lights, a green keyhole. (Introducing the traffic light has also been discussed.) It makes me feel patronized. Pizza gets the keyhole, but not apples. Out of two identical items, it's only on the most expensive alternative. Do they think I'm stupid? I try to ignore them, but it's noise, information I don't need. (Same with all the "free for" items, catering to allergics and hipsters alike. And readymeals, catering for the lazy and the ignorant.) Some grocery chains also have "health" campaigns - reduced prices on fruit and vegetables. It adds to the noise. All foods can be part of a healthy diet. Eating just fruit and vegs is in fact very unhealthy.

    Sometimes it's not about answering the question, not when the question is wrong. "Which foods are healthy" is a wrong question.

    I'm very glad you did decide to answer because you've brought up some very good points. I, for one, enjoy your comments and ideas. If the poster you are referring to had been around longer, he would know that you are on an even keel and looked at your comments differently. I very much agree with your post. Carry on. ;)
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,961 Member
    Not familiar with UK labeling, but as far as foods in the US, I'm with Michael Pollan:

    http://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/unhappy-meals/

    ...Once, food was all you could eat, but today there are lots of other edible foodlike substances in the supermarket. These novel products of food science often come in packages festooned with health claims, which brings me to a related rule of thumb: if you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid food products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a good indication that it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat.
  • fishshark
    fishshark Posts: 1,886 Member
    the FDA is the last "person" im going to for heath tips.
  • Adc7225
    Adc7225 Posts: 1,319 Member
    Wow! I just figured if it had nutritional value it was healthy! Now even with that there would be values, some items being 'healthier' than others but I think it comes down to how one defines 'junk food' for some people!

    Great topic!!