BBC Future has released a list of the top 100 most nutritious foods in the world. The foods on the list were ranked in descending order from 100 to 1 with a “nutritional score” and pig’s fat ranked at eighth place with a nutritional score of 73.
With just 58 percent of Americans meeting national healthy eating guidelines, the BBC developed this list of healthy foods for the common consumer. According to the BBC, the list was developed by scientists who investigated over 1,000 foods and rated each item with a nutritional score. The top 100 food products that made the cut meet, but do not exceed, the daily nutritional requirements for an average person. However, the company does advise that these top food selections should be consumed in moderation.
“The key is to eat a balance of highly nutritious foods, that when consumed together, do not contain too much of any one nutrient, to avoid exceeding daily recommended amounts,” stated the report.
The top five foods on the list are almonds, cherimoya, ocean perch, flatfish and chia seeds, respectively. All five of these foods contain essential vitamins and minerals or are high in fibre, amino acids or omega-3 fatty acids. Although these top five foods are commonly known as health foods, the list highlighted certain items that many consumers may believe to be unhealthy.
Pork fat came in eighth place which is a position that is higher than certain fruits, vegetables and fish. According to the document, pork fat is high in B vitamins and minerals and is healthier than beef and lamb fat. Although pork fat is considered high in saturated-fat, there is a growing trend around consuming fatty food items to support weight loss and cognitive function. The diet, commonly known as the ketogenic diet, involves excluding all kinds of carbohydrates and replacing them with high-fat foods. The high-fat, low-carb diet causes the body to undergo ketosis, a process in which the liver produces ketones that aid in burning fat for energy instead of carbs.
Other odd food items include dandelion greens which ranked at 23rd place, beating kale by 8 points. The common weed’s green leaves are high in vitamin A, C and calcium. At number 56, eel meat beats pink salmon by 21 points. Although the animal excretes dangerous marine toxins through mucus glands in its skin, its meat is a good source of riboflavin (vitamin B12).