Healthy or Hoax? Nutrition Facts on Your Favorite Foods
Jul 11 2016

Healthy or Hoax? Nutrition Facts on Your Favorite Foods

nutrition-foodMost of us mean to make healthy choices at the grocery store or when out for dinner, but it can be tricky sifting through all of the sometimes contradictory information out there. We caught up with our RD Cat Taylor for a breakdown of what ingredients and foods are actually healthy, and which ones are all hype. Read on for more info!



By: VIDA Registered Dietitian Cat Taylor 

According to The New York Times via Google search trends, below are the most searched for by internet users in the context of “Is ______ healthy?” (Find the whole article here!)





4.peanut butter







11.brown rice




15.cottage cheese



18.rye bread




23.white rice



26.dark chocolate

27.coconut milk


29.canned tuna

30.feta cheese


32.frozen yogurt

33.beef jerky


36.chinese food


38.greek yogurt

39.brown sugar


41.sparkling water

42.turkey bacon



45.sourdough bread

46.smoked salmon

47.dried fruit

48.miso soup

49.Indian food

50.Basmati rice



I thought this was fascinating data. So, let me speak to the first two, for now. But first, let me address the concept of labeling a food “healthy” or “unhealthy”. I recommend that we get away from these terms altogether and rephrase as such:

“_____ is healthy”   vs.   “_____ belongs in a healthy diet”

“_____ is unhealthy”   vs.   “_____ does not belong in a healthy diet”


Moving on.

  1. Sushi does belong in a healthy diet. However, as with most popular foods, certain types are better for your health than others.
    • Tempura (deep fried vegetables or fish) is not good for your health when consumed regularly.
    • Fancy sushi rolls that contain mayonnaise-based sauces and doused in sodium-latent soy sauce should also be consumed moderately. Hold the sauce and lighten up on your soy sauce.

Choose rolls filled with fresh fish, vegetables, or avocado, and jump on the brown rice when it is available on the menu. Beware that rice contains carbohydrates which want to be controlled to remain between the recommended 45-65% of a healthy American diet. The appropriate serving size depends on the energy and carbohydrate needs of the individual. When in doubt: eat when you are hungry, eat slowly, and stop when you are full. Balance your meal with a vegetable (seaweed salad, i.e.) If you lead a sedentary or low-active lifestyle, consider seaweed wrapped sushi rolls, sashimi, or a combination of traditional rice sushi and the former two varieties.

  1. Hummus does belong in a healthy diet. It is important to note that because it is traditionally made with Tahini (sesame seed paste) and Olive Oil, it becomes a moderate to high fat food, making it a high-calorie food.
    • Consume in small quantities- more like a condiment than a food group or main dish.
    • Vegans and Vegetarians should note that hummus is not very high in protein, contrary to popular belief. Popular hummus brands contain 1-2 grams of protein and ~60 calories per 2 Tbsp. serving size.


  1. Sabra: 2 grams protein and 70 calories per 2 Tbsp serving size
  2. Marzetti: 1 gram of protein and 60 calories per 2 Tbsp serving size
  3. Tribe: 2 grams of protein and 60 calories per 2 Tbsp serving size
  4. Cava: 2 grams of protein and 40 calories per 2 Tbsp serving size **Best bang for your caloric buck!!**


Thanks for reading!

Cat Taylor, RD, LDN

VIDA Fitness at the Verizon Center