Nutrient Density Rating System

Points Per Category

Max Total Score: 46


Food Grading Criteria*

Points Per Category:  14
Reason/Evidence/Supporting Science:
  • The % Daily Value (%DV) is set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) it shows how much of a nutrient is in one serving of the food. The %DVs are based on the Daily Values for essential nutrients, recommended per day for Americans 4 years of age and older
Source:

Points Per Category:  12

Reason/Evidence/Supporting Science:

  • ≥ 20% DV is a serving that is considered “high,” “rich in,” or “excellent source of” an essential nutrient according to FDA food claims law
  • %DV’s are based on the amount per serving – as indicated on the food label or company website

Source:

Points Per Category:  2

Reason/Evidence/Supporting Science:

  • Sodium is over consumed and contributes to poor health. Excess sodium is mostly in the form of salt or NaCl, therefore, chloride is also over-consumed – almost always because of salt added to packaged foods.

Source:

Points Per Category:  9

Reason/Evidence/Supporting Science:

  • Amino acids do not have a %DV because the USDA and FDA decided to use “total protein” as a simplified way to estimate essential amino acid intake.
  • The best approach is to use amino acids, not total protein because some protein sources contain all essential amino acids and some do not.
  • The NDR system used the recommended daily intake or RDA for adults 19 years and older, calculations based on 70kg man.

Source:

Points Per Category:  1

Reason/Evidence/Supporting Science:

  • Fiber is a type of carbohydrate found in plants and is made up of many sugar molecules linked together. But unlike other carbohydrates (such as starch), dietary fiber is bound together in such a way that it cannot be digested in the small intestine.
  • Most Americans do not get the recommended amount of dietary fiber (28g per day). Dietary fiber is considered a “nutrient of public health concern” because low intakes are associated with potential health risks
  • Fiber is not digested by humans, but it fuels healthy bacteria in the large intestine. Healthy bacteria promote better gut and overall health.

Source:

Points Per Category:  1

Reason/Evidence/Supporting Science:

  • Sodium in excess boosts blood pressure while potassium is praised for keeping it in check.
  • These two minerals work in tandem throughout the body. The ratio of sodium to potassium in the diet may be more important than the amount of either one alone.
  • The higher the sodium to potassium ratio, the greater the chances of dying from cardiovascular disease, a heart attack, or for any reason at all.

Source:

Points Per Category:  2

Reason/Evidence/Supporting Science:

  • The essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 do not have a %DV.
  • The FDA did set a DV for total fat at 65 g per day – based on calories, not essential nutrients.
  • The best approach is to rate foods based on essential fatty acids, not total fat because calories from fat tells you nothing about the type of fat and its value to health.
  • The NDR system uses AI for adults 19 years and older, calculations based on 70kg man.

Source:

Points Per Category:  1

Reason/Evidence/Supporting Science:

  • Today, most people are eating a lot of omega-6 fatty acids. Twenty omega-6 to every one omega-3, or even higher.
  • These essential fatty acids are different than most other fats. They are not simply used for energy or stored, they are biologically active and have important roles in processes like blood clotting and inflammation.
  • A diet high in omega-6s but low in omega-3s increases inflammation, while a diet that includes balanced amounts of each reduces inflammation.

Source:

Points Per Category:  1

Reason/Evidence/Supporting Science:

  • Sugar is over consumed, it has zero essential nutrients and contributes to poor health. The new %DV set added sugar daily limit at 50g well over the recommended 25g from women and 38 grams for men set by the AHA.
  • The NDR rating sets sugar intake at no more than 50g total sugar per day.

Source:

Points Per Category:  1

Reason/Evidence/Supporting Science:

  • Energy intake must be limited in order to maintain and lose body weight.
  • Calories: Estimated Energy Req (EER), 70kg man, avg. ht 176cm, low activity level factor. EER = 2,476 kcal/day.

Source:

Points Per Category:  1

Reason/Evidence/Supporting Science:

  • The human body requires essential nutrients to grow, to reproduce, to repair, and to protect the body from harm.
  • Highly processed foods make up more than 60% of the calories we buy. Not all processed food is bad, but a lot is because they add ingredients that are known to be harmful to health worse they are limited in essential nutrients.

Source:

Points Per Category:  0 to -78

Reason/Evidence/Supporting Science:

  • Potentially harmful, no known benefits, not required for human health.

Points Per Category:  Negative Points

Reason/Evidence/Supporting Science:

  • Excess sugar is all bad with no upside. Sugar increases the risk of weight gain, excess body weight and obesity, type 2 diabetes, higher triglycerides and high cholesterol, higher blood pressure and hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, cancer, and cavities.
  • High sugar foods are empty calories which means they are loaded with calories but very few essential nutrients or fiber. These foods replace nutrient-dense foods — they cause overfed and undernourished people.

Source:

* Two %DV groups are not included in the grading, Total fat is generic, not all fat is essential and Total carbohydrate is not an essential nutrient.
New FDA DVs take effect 2021. Old and new DV are accepted until effective date.

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