Friday, October 10, 2008

Nutritional Quality Index - How Well Do You Know Your Foods?

In the supermarket, we have the greatest choices of foods in the history of mankind. Eating well can be an overwelming challenge. Most of us like variety in our foods, and we have that luxury. But making good food choices regularly is quite a challenge with so many factors to think about.

At Yale University's Griffin Prevention Research Center, an Overall Nutritional Quality Index has been developed with scores of 1 to 100 based on the nutrients, vitamins, sugar and salt, and the overall impact of foods on blood pressure and other health concerns like clogging blood vessels. The quality index will begin appearing on many food labels and at many stores. Look for it. The scores are available at: Here are some highlights.

Foods that rated a perfect 100 are: broccoli, blueberries, orange and green beans. Pinapple and radish get a 99. Summer squash (98), apple (96), green cabbage (96), and tomato (96) are among the others at the top of this food chain.

Near the bottom are: popsicle and soda both rating a 1, saltine crackers, bacon, and apple pie rating a 2, milk chocolate a 3 (very sorry), cheese puffs a 4, hot dog a 5, salami a 7 and white bread a 9. These are commonly eaten foods that can easily be eliminated from a diet. You will lose weight too.

Some interesting foods in the middle are: unbuttered, unsalted popcorn (69), 2% milk (55), pasta (50), New York strip steak (44), bagel (23) and salted dry roasted peanuts at 21.

Eating healthy is a big challenge but we know more about our foods than ever before. Nutritional knowledge is out there for us to make healthy choices. I hope this information helps you and your family live a healthier life.