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Healthy Foods

New rating systems tells you exactly what's in your food

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The Environmental Working Group has a new database that breaks down which foods are good and not so good. (Environmental Working Group)

Have you ever wanted a rating system to tell you how bad those Doritos really are?  Well, it’s here.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Monday released a database that scores more than 80,000 grocery items, based on nutrition, safety of ingredients, food additives and the amount of processing.

Food Scores: Rate Your Plate was developed over three years EWG and gets its product information from LabelINSIGHT, academic research and government datasets.

The idea is to get shoppers to make “healthier, greener and cleaner food choices” helped also by a free app –to be released soon—that offers information with the scan of a smartphone, the environmental research group said in a release.  

The products are rated on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the best) and how well they perform in three categories: nutrition, processing, and "ingredients of concern." Nutrition makes up about 70 percent of the score, ingredients about 20 percent, and the amount of processing is10 percent.

A 18 percent were healthy enough to make it into what EWG called the “green zone” while 57 percent were in the yellow-to-orange range and 25 percent were foods that should be avoided.

Things that get bad scores are breakfast cereal, frozen pizza and even some meats. More positive scores were given to foods higher in protein, fiber, omega-3s, and minimal processing—foods “closer to what you might find in your kitchen than what you might find in a chemical plant,” said Ken Cook, EWG’s president and cofounder, in a statement.

But the Grocery Manufacturers Association says that the rating system is flawed and will only confuse consumers about the food they enjoy.

“The methodology employed by EWG to develop their new food ratings is void of the scientific rigor and objectivity that should be devoted to any effort to provide consumers with reliable nutrition and food safety information.  Their ratings are based almost entirely on assumptions they made about the amount, value and safety of ingredients in the products they rate.  Adding insult to injury, EWG conducted no tests to confirm the validity of any of their assumptions," read a statement sent to FoxNews.com.

But if you're still wondering about those Doritos, the Doritos Nacho Cheese flavor gets a score of 7.  Ouch.