It is an open-ended scale that is based on a comparison of the beneficial components of a food to its harmful components. The higher the rating, the more nutritious the food.
In the snack food category, carrots have the highest nutritional rating, 48, because their high vitamin A and fiber content far outweigh, any detrimental components. Following carrots are green peppers, 44 (vitamin C and fiber); apples, 23 (fiber, iron, pectin); unbuttered, unsalted popcorn, 19 (fiber, eating satisfaction); celery, 17 (fiber, trace minerals); and potato chips, 15.
On the low end of the snack food scale are Twinkies, -34 (fat, sugar); jelly-beans, -38 (sugar, no nutrients); and Hershey’s milk chocolate without nuts, -42 (sugar, cocoa, caffeine).
Desserts: Cantaloupe, 60, is rated highest, followed by strawberries, 34. Vanilla ice milk, 7, is rated higher than vanilla low-fat frozen yogurt which ranks much higher than vanilla ice cream, -22. And, then there’s: Sara Lee chocolate cake, -26 and chocolate ?clairs, -30.
Dannon Fruit Yogurt contains the equivalent of six teaspoons of sugar in each cup. Croissants are extremely high in fat. 59Percent of the 200 calories in Pepperidge Farm and Sara Lee’s all-butter croissants come from fat. Compare this to the 5Percent-10Percent fat in breads, muffins and bagels.
Quiche is equally bad. More than half the calories in the crust come from fat. The basic filling of cheese, eggs, cream and bacon contains 25-27 grams of fat per serving… the equivalent of 7 teaspoons of lard. Wow!
Gourmet TV dinners are junkier than others. All of them are too high in salt. The difference lies in their fat content. Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers dinners have a lower percentage of fat than the others, but Le Menu and Armour Dinner Classics contain as much fat as the old-line Banquet or Morton dinners.
Snacks: Granola bars, which used to be more nutritious than chocolate bars, are getting more and more junky as the manufacturers begin adding more candy ingredients. Per ounce, Nature Valley Granola clusters contain 3.3 teaspoons of added sugar, the same amount that’s in a Snicker’s bar, and more than in Nestle’s Crunch, Hershey’s milk chocolate with almonds or Mr. Goodbar, which contain only 2.7 teaspoons added sugar. Quaker Honey & Oats Granola Bar is the best of the lot, with only 1.5 teaspoons of added sugar… less than half the sugar of a Nature Valley bar.
Low-calorie crackers: Wheatsworth Wheat thins make you think they’re full of whole-wheat flour … but they contain 10 times more white flour than wheat, and 42Percent of their calories come from fat. Similarly, Keebler’s Harvest Wheat Crackers are labeled “a blend of hearty wheat,” but that’s not the same as whole wheat. White flour and fat provide 51Percent of the calories in these crackers.
|Types of Food||
|Beans||Canned pork and beans, canned beans with salt or
preservatives, frozen beans.
|All beans cooked without animal fat or
|Beverages||Alcoholic drinks, coffee, cocoa, pasteurized and/or
sweetened juices and fruit drinks, sodas, tea (except herbal tea).
|Herbal teas, fresh vegetable and fruit juices,
cereal grain beverages (often sold as coffee substitutes), mineral or distilled
|Dairy products||All soft cheeses, all pasteurized or artificially
colored cheese products, ice cream.
|Raw goat cheese, nonfat cottage cheese, kefir,
unsweetened yogurt, goat’s milk, raw or skim milk, buttermilk, rice milk, all
|Eggs||Fried or pickled.||Boiled or poached (limit of four
|Fish||All fried fish, all shellfish, salted fish,
anchovies, herring, fish canned in oil.
|All freshwater white fish, salmon, broiled or baked
fish, water-packed tuna.
|Fruits||Canned, bottled, or frozen fruits with sweeteners
|All fresh, frozen, stewed, or dried fruits without
sweeteners (except oranges, which are acidic and highly allergenic), untreated
fruits, home-canned fruits.
|Grains||All white flour products, white rice, pasta,
crackers, cold cereals, instant types of oatmeal and other hot
|All whole grains and products containing whole
grains: cereals, breads, muffins, whole-grain crackers, cream of wheat or rye
cereal, buckwheat, millet, oats, brown rice, wild rice.
(Limit yeast breads
to three servings per week.)
|Meats||Beef; all forms of pork; hot dogs; luncheon meats;
smoked, pickled, and processed meats; corned beef; duck; goose; spare ribs;
gravies; organ meats.
|Skinless turkey and chicken, lamb. (Limit meat to
three 3-oz servings per week.)
|Nuts||Peanuts; all salted or roasted nuts.||All fresh raw nuts (except
|Oils (fats)||All saturated fats, hydrogenated margarine, refined
processed oils, shortenings, hardened oils.
|All cold-pressed oils: corn, safflower, sesame,
olive, flaxseed, soybean, sunflower, and canola oils; margarine made from these
oils; mayonnaise without eggs.
|Seasonings||Black or white pepper, salt, hot red peppers, all
types of vinegar except pure natural apple cider
|Garlic, onions, cayenne, Spike, all herbs, dried
vegetables, apple cider vinegar, tamari, miso, vinegar. seaweed,
|Soups||Canned soups made with salt, preservatives, MSG, or
fat stock; all creamed soups.
|Homemade (salt- and fat4ree) bean, lentil, pea,
vegetable, barley, brown rice, onion.
|Sprouts and seeds||All seeds cooked in oil or salt.||All slightly cooked sprouts (except alfalfa, which
should be raw and washed thoroughly), wheat-grass, all raw
|Sweets||White, brown, or raw cane sugar, corn syrups,
chocolate, sugar candy, fructose (except that in fresh whole fruit), all syrups
(except pure maple syrup), all sugar substitutes, jams and jellies made with
|Barley malt or rice syrup, small amounts of raw
honey, pure maple syrup, untreated blackstrap molasses.
|Vegetables||All canned or frozen with salt or
|All raw, fresh, frozen (no additives), or home-
canned without salt (undercook vegetables slightly).