New list of 49 foods to avoid includes some that seem healthy

The New Zealand Medical Journal's new list of "non-essential, energy dense, nutritionally deficient" (aka NEEDNT) foods, aimed at helping educate obese people about foods to avoid, includes a number of usual suspects on the 'do not eat if you are dieting' list. Coming in at #1 (list is alphabetical, not in ascending/descending order of value) is alcohol, followed by biscuits, butter, cakes and chocolate.

But there are a few surprises among the 49 dietary offenders.

Take Muesli, that supposedly wholesome mix of oats and fruits and nuts. Turns out its almost as nutritionally bereft as a biscuit.

Muesli bars come in at 29 on the list. Dr. Jane Elmslie explained to New Zealand's National 3 News : "Muesli bars are a classic example of how overweight people can be misled into thinking they're eating healthy food. Most muesli bars are high in calories, and fat and sugar, with minimal nutritional value. Essentially they are just another form of biscuit."

Muesli is actually a repeat offender on the list, with "toasted muesli" showing up at number 47. (How times have changed: Museli was first introduced as a health food in the early 20th century.)

Honey made the list too, taking the 23rd spot. Long-used in alternative medicinal practices and in cooking, it turns out honey itself doesn't offer much in the way of nutrition, though it is a good source of natural sugar.

The final entry on the list may be the most surprising of all: yogurt. Though if you keep your yogurt plain and simple you might be safe: the list only recommends avoiding yogurts containing more than 10mg of sugar per 100mg container.

"Energy drinks," which few people think are a health food but are nonetheless consumed by athletes, trainers and other people around the world on a daily basis, come in at #15. (The Sideshow recently wrote about the Buddhist monk billionaire who founded the 5 Hour Energy Drink. He says he has one every morning and another dose before exercising.)

Number 18 on the list is "fried foods." However, the Sideshow recently reported on a new study claiming that fried foods themselves aren't the problem; it's the oil you use to cook them in.

You can read the full list after the jump.

The NEEDNT, or non-essential, energy dense, nutritionally deficient, list. And just to be clear, this is an alphabetical list, not one of ascending/descending health risks. As stated above, all of the foods listed are considered to be lacking in nutritional value according to the study:

1.Alcoholic drinks
2.Biscuits (cookies)
3.Butter, lard, dripping or similar fat (used as a spread or in baking/cooking etc.)
6.Coconut cream
7.Condensed milk
9.Corn chips
10.Cream (including creme fraiche)
11.Crisps (including vegetable crisps)
14.Drinking Chocolate, Milo etc.
15.Energy drinks
16.Flavoured milk/milkshakes
17.Fruit tinned in syrup
18.Fried food
19.Frozen yoghurt
20.Fruit juice (except tomato juice and unsweetened blackcurrant juice)
22.High fat crackers
24.Hot chips
25.Ice cream
29.Muesli bars
30 Muffins
31.Nuts roasted in fat or oil
34.Popcorn with butter or oil
36.Reduced cream
37.Regular luncheon sausage
38.Regular powdered drinks
39.Regular salami
40.Regular sausages
41.Regular soft drinks
42.Fruit rollups
43.Sour cream
44.Sugar (added to anything including drinks, baking, cooking etc.)
46.Syrups such as golden syrup, treacle, maple syrup
47.Toasted muesli and any other breakfast cereal with more than 15g sugar per 100g cereal
48.Whole milk
49.Yogurt type products with more than 10g of sugar

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