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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Nutrient per Calorie Density in Various Foods

The Nutrient density scores or Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) were assigned by Dr. Furhman to foods based on how many nutrients they give to your body in each calorie you consume. The food scores are out of a possible score of 1,000. The food labels you see in the store (or on your shelves) don't even give a glimpse of this vital information in the foods that you're eating. We seem to understand as a society that natural foods have more nutrients, but there is a huge range in nutrient density amongst even whole foods.

Here's the list computed according to serving size, (all fruits and vegetables tested were raw, unless specified as "cooked"):

Kale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1000
Mustard Greens, cooked . . . . .1000
Watercress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1000
Collard Greens, cooked . . . . . .1000
Bok Choy, cookied . . . . . . . . . . 824
Spinach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 739
Spinach, cooked . . . . . . . . . . . .697
Brussels Sprouts . . . . . . . . . . . 672
Swiss Chard, cooked . . . . . . . . 670
Arugula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .560
Radish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 554
Bean Sprouts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 444
Red Pepper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .420
Cabbage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 420
Romaine Lettuce . . . . . . . . . . . . 389
Broccoli. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..376
Vegetable Juice . . . . . . . . . . . . 367
Boston Lettuce . . . . . . . . . . . . .353
Carrot Juice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 344
Broccoli, cooked . . . . . . . . . . . .342
Cauliflower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .285
Green Pepper . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258
Tomato Sauce, cooked . . . . . . .248
Artichoke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .244
Carrots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .240
Salsa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..236
Asparagus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234
Zucchini . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
Strawberries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212
Pomegranate Juice . . . . . . . . . . 193
Tomato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164
Butternut Squash . . . . . . . . . . . .159
Plums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .158
Raspberries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145
Celery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135
Mushrooms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
Blueberries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130
Brazil Nuts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Iceberg Lettuce. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .110
Orange. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Grapefruit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102
Cantaloupe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Kiwi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Beets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Eggplant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Watermelon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Orange Juice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
Tofu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
Sweet Potato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84
Apple . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Peach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Green Peas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Cherries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68
Lentils...............................................68
Pineapple..........................................64
Apricots............................................64
Black Beans......................................58
Edamame.........................................58
Kidney Beans...................................56
Oats, cooked....................................53
Mango...............................................51
Cucumber.........................................50
Soybeans..........................................48
Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)............48
Onions..............................................47
Prunes..............................................47
Pears................................................46
Sunflower Seeds................................46
Tuna.................................................46
Honeydew Melon...........................45
Soy Burgers........................................45
Flax Seeds.......................................44
Brown Rice, Cooked.......................41
Sesame Seeds.................................41
Flounder/Sole.................................41
Salmon.............................................39
Sprouted Grain Bread...................39
Avocado...........................................38
Swordfish........................................38
Pumpkin Seeds..............................36
Canned Tuna, in water.................36
Skim Milk.......................................36
Pecans.............................................34
Soy Milk..........................................33
Deli Turkey Breast........................33
Tahini Butter..................................32
Barley, cooked................................32
Grapes.............................................31
Potato..............................................31
Cod...................................................31
Banana.............................................30
Walnuts...........................................29
Pistachios........................................29
Eggs.................................................28
Chicken Breast...............................27
Soy Cheese (ick!)...........................27
London Broil...................................26
Plain Yogurt, low fat......................26
Almonds..........................................25
Figs..................................................25
Corn.................................................25
Whole Wheat Bread......................25
Feta Cheese....................................23
Pork Loin........................................23
Milk Chocolate...............................21
Quinoa, cooked..............................21
Ground Beef...................................20
Whole Milk.....................................20
Dates...............................................19
Peanuts...........................................19
Whole Wheat Pasta, cooked.........19
White Pasta, cooked......................18
White Bread....................................18
Bagel, whole grain..........................18
Peanut Butter.................................18
Cottage Cheese, low-fat.................18
Pizza.................................................17
Popcorn............................................16
Raisins..............................................16
Cashews...........................................15
McDonald's Cheeseburger............15
Fruit Yogurt, low-fat.....................14
Pretzels............................................13
Cashew Butter................................13
Bologna............................................13
White Rice, cooked.........................12
Potato Chips....................................11
Saltine Crackers..............................11
Granola Bar, chocolate chip...........11
Cheddar Cheese..............................11
Pine Nuts.........................................10
Macadamias....................................10
American Cheese...........................10
Vanilla Ice Cream............................9
Vanilla Frozen Yogurt.....................9
Hot Dog, beef...................................8
Sugar Cookies..................................5
Cream Cheese.................................4
Corn Oil............................................3
Olive Oil............................................2
Honey................................................1
Cola.................................................. 1/2


Isn't it amazing that most of the food we eat is under a score of 100. It's crazy how most Americans base their diets on the lowest scoring foods. I was just thinking as I typed the frozen yogurt score that I fell HARD for that trend when it first came out -- thinking that frozen yogurt must be so much healthier and less fattening than ice cream. Several times a week, I'd stop by the Yogurt Station while in college, would look at the menu, see that I could get much more in a medium for only 20 cents more. But why stop there, an extra large was over double the size of a medium and not that much more money. I'd eat those extra larges (peanut butter chocolate and some orange/tangerine maybe? were my regular flavors) all the time, thinking I was eating something healthy -- something that wouldn't make me fat. If I had just looked in the mirror, I would have known that wasn't the case. Oh well. Glad I grew past that addiction.

I do want to add that just because some foods score lower than 100, they are still healthy (like the fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes). They just pack in more calories, so you don't want to eat them in large quantities. The fruit has enough water (and the legumes enough bulk) that you'd probably never overeat them anyway. Just watch it with the nuts and seeds (but enjoy when you do eat them!) I try to keep to 1/4 cup a day, maybe 1/3 cup at times. Dr. Fuhrman says a little less, but I exercise each day and have never gained weight eating that many nuts. In fact, I've lost weight at times eating more, especially when I'm eating all raw and lots of greens. I think my body functions well with healthy oils from nuts and seeds.

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