Can A Food Product Scoring System Improve Our Diet And Eliminate Nutrition Confusion?

Episode 682 1h 15m


When it comes to diet, there’s so much changing and conflicting information flying around that it can feel impossible to know where to look for sound advice. Decades of nutritional misguidance, lobbying, and corrupt food policies have only left us more confused when we head to the grocery store.

Today on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I talk to Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian about Food Compass, a new food rating system aimed to help determine the general healthfulness of different foods and cut through the confusion when it comes to our food choices.

During our conversation we unpack some of the nuances about how foods are assessed by Food Compass, and we also get into some of the more controversial areas, like why processed whole-grain cereals scored higher than minimally proccessed animal products.

We also talk about the difference between an ultraprocessed food and a minimally processed food, and what it is about ultraprocessing that is harmful. Ultraprocessing often takes out fiber and all of the hundreds of thousands of phenolics. Fiber is hugely important for our microbiome, which determines everything about our health, and phytochemicals regulate so much of our biochemistry, gene expression, nutrient sensing systems, and longevity pathways that are so critical for our health.

Nutrition science is changing and we have a lot more to unpack as we go forward to make the world a healthier place. I hope you’ll tune in.


This episode is brought to you by Cozy Earth, InsideTracker, Pendulum, and Pique. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • Challenges and limitations of nutrition research


  • Food rating systems


  • The Food Compass rating system


  • Development and scoring domains of the Food Compass


  • Comparing Food Compass to other scoring systems


  • Research on how following Food Compass would affect health


  • Distinguishing a processed vs ultra-processed food


  • Limitations of and areas of controversy with Food Compass


  • How Food Compass scores cholesterol


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Resources Mentioned

Host & Guests


Automatically generated. Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Coming up on this episode of the Doctor's Pharmacy.

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian:
It's not a either or. We have to do it all. We're not happy with the current food system, but we have to help people make better choices and navigate within it, and we have to radically reinvent the food system at the same time.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Welcome to Doctor's Pharmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman. That's pharmacy with [inaudible 00:00:24] place for conversations that matter. And we're going to get into some deep things that matter to all of us, which is how do we choose the foods we eat, and what is it based on, what are the scientific controversies that exist now around certain things in nutrition? And..

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Ep. 682 - Can A Food Product Scoring System Improve Our Diet And Eliminate Nutrition Confusion?