A new food health ranking system developed by Tufts University has scored over 8,000 foods and beverages using the most recent scientific nutrition research and public health data. Each item was assigned a score from 1 (least healthy) to 100 (most healthy) based on a 9-attribute measurement considering markers of vitamin, mineral, and nutrition density per 100 kcal. Green vegetables receive a very high average score of 88, and nearly all raw fruits received a perfect score of 100. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds all have average scores in this “healthiest” tier of foods (scores of 70 and above) that should be encouraged, whereas poultry, beef, pork, eggs, dairy, and sugary desserts scored in the lowest categories of foods that should be consumed in moderation or minimized. This nutrient profiling system strongly supports the validity and healthfulness of a whole-food, plant-based diet.
Mozaffarian, D., El-Abbadi, N.H., O’Hearn, M. et al. Food Compass is a nutrient profiling system using expanded characteristics for assessing healthfulness of foods. Nat Food 2, 809–818 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-021-00381-y
Laura Bustard is an actuary who is passionate about plants. She has conducted research on the emergency food system and prescription-produce, and recently worked for FairShare CSA Coalition in Madison, WI. She now lives in Goleta, CA, and works remotely for The Standard, holding a Masters of Science in Urban and Regional Planning and a Fellowship from the Society of Actuaries.
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