[PHNUTR-L] Nutrient density score helps develop healthy diet
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD
fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com
Sat Dec 3 05:53:25 PST 2005
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Nutrient density score helps develop healthy diet
Dec 1st - 5:20pm
A nutrient density score can help people develop a healthy diet.
"The American diet is said to be increasingly energy-rich but
nutrient-poor. To help improve the nutrient-to-energy ratio, the 2005
Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that consumers replace some
foods in their diets with more nutrient-dense options. Such dietary
guidance presupposes the existence of a nutrient density standard.
However, a review of the literature shows that the concept of a
nutritious food is not based on any consistent standards or criteria," a
researcher in the United States reports.
"In many cases, healthful foods are defined by the absence of
problematic ingredients - fat, sugar, and sodium - rather than by the
presence of any beneficial nutrients they might contain," said Adam
Drewnowski at the University of Washington in Seattle. "Past attempts to
quantify the nutrient density of foods have been based on a variety of
calories-to-nutrient scores, nutrients-per-calorie indexes, and
nutrient-to-nutrient ratios. The naturally nutrient-rich (NNR) score,
which is based on mean percentage daily values (DVs) for 14 nutrients in
2,000 kcal food, can be used to assign nutrient density values to foods
within and across food groups."
Drewnowski noted, "Use of the NNR score allows consumers to identify and
select nutrient-dense foods while permitting some flexibility where the
discretionary calories are concerned. This approach has implications for
food labeling, nutritional policy making, and consumer education. The
Food and Drug Administration has considered approving nutrient claims
based on the ratio of a beneficial nutrient to the food's energy
content, as opposed to a specified minimum amount of a nutrient per
"Given the current dietary trends, the nutrient density approach can be
a valuable tool for nutrition education and dietary guidance," concluded
Drewnowski published the study in the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition (Concept of a nutritious food: toward a nutrient density
score. Am J Clin Nutr, 2005;82(4):721-732).
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD < fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com >
"Ask the Parkinson Dietitian" http://www.parkinson.org/
"Eat well, stay well with Parkinson's disease"
"Parkinson's disease: Guidelines for Medical Nutrition Therapy"
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