THE BEST - AND THE WORST - FOODS

  Photos courtesy of  www.pexels.com . 

Photos courtesy of www.pexels.com

Every year the Nutrition Action Newsletter, which is published for consumers by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, releases its list of the Top 10 foods you should avoid and the Top 10 foods that are healthiest for you. 

Here are the two lists, and excerpts of the nonprofit's revue of each food item. For more details, go to www.nutritionaction.com

Worst

1. Stouffer's Satisfying Servings White Meat Chicken Pot Pies. "Eat the entire pie, as many people do, and you're talking 1,100 calls, 23 grams of saturated fat (more than a day's worth) and 1,560 mg of sodium (a day's worth)." 

2. Five Guys Burgers and Fries. "The hamburger (with no toppings) has 700 calories and a day's worth of saturated fat (20 grams) and makes a McDonald's Big Mac (540 calories) look wimpy. Add 950 calories for the regular fries. A large MdDonald's fries has "only" 500 calories."

3. Campbell's regular Condensed Soup. "An average cup has 800 mg of sodium. But most people eat the whole can of soup, which contains 2,000 mg of sodium - more than most adults should consume in an entire day."

4. Chipotle Chicken Burrito. "It has 1,050 calories, 17 grams of saturated fat and 2,400 mg of sodium - as much as six Taco Bell Chicken Soft Tacos." 

5. Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake at The Cheesecake Factory. "If it weren't served on its side, it would stand over six inches tall. It weighs in at three-quarters of a pound, has 1,810 calories and three days' worth of saturated fat (62 grams).

6. Uno Pizzeria & Grill's Deep Dish Mac & Cheese. "It has more calories and saturated fat than a Famiy Size box of Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese that serves five."

7. Olive Garden's Tour of Italy. "It comes with 1,520 calories, 48 grams of saturated fat and 3,250 mg of sodium. Add a breadstick and a house salad with dressing and you'll consume 1,800 calories (nearly a day's worth)."

8. Starbucks Venti White Chocolate Mocha. "It's as bad as a McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese."

9. Haagen-Dazs ice cream. "A petite half-cup has a half a day's saturated fat, 300 calories and 4 teaspoons of added sugar."

10. Cold Stone Creamery's Oh Fudge! shake. "The 20 fl. oz. size has the saturated fat content of two 14-oz. ribeye steaks plus a buttered baked potato."

Best

1. Sweet Potatoes. "A nutritional superstar - one of the best vegetables you can eat."

2. Mangoes. "A cup supplies 100 percent of a day's vitamin C."

3. Plain Greek yogurt. "It has twice the protein of ordinary yogurt."

4. Broccoli. "It has tons of vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin K and folate."

5. Wild Salmon. "It's rich in omega-3 fats, which may help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. And wild-caught salmon is more sustainable than farmed salmon."

6. Crispbreads. "Whole-grain rye crackers (Wasa for example) have simple ingredients (whole-grain flour, water, salt and sometimes yeast)." 

7. Garbanzo Beans. "All beans are healthy, but garbanzos stand out because they're so versatile."

8. Watermelon. "A heavyweight in the nutrient department. And when they're n season, they're often locally grown, which means they may have a smaller carbon footprint that some other fruits."

9. Butternut Squash. "It's an easy way to get lots of vitamins A and C." 

10. Leafy Greens. "Don't miss out on powerhouse greens such as Kale, collards, spinach, mustard greens and Swiss chard."