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Food Rating System Evaluates Cost Value of Food Based on Nutrition

Get the Most Nutrition For Your Dollar

It can be hard to find healthy foods that don't break the bank — as I've mentioned before, nutrition often comes with a high price tag. A new tool may be what consumers need to find the biggest health bang for their buck.

The Affordable Nutrition Index (ANI) is a rating system that evaluates food based on its health and price value, and over 300 foods were evaluated and given a nutrition-value-per-dollar score. Basically the ANI is a list that lets consumers know what items are the most nutritious while also having the smallest price tag.

The food scores were based on the levels of nine essential nutrients — protein, fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and E — and what to avoid — saturated fat, added sugars, and sodium.

To see which foods ranked high on the ANI,

.

Though the complete list has not been released, highlights of it were introduced at the American Dietetic Association's Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo:

  • Carrots, sweet potatoes, and broccoli are at the top of the ANI scale. Other veggies that rank high are peas, string beans, squash, and lettuce.
  • Oranges and bananas are the top fruits, while raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, grapes, nectarines, and apples also rank high.
  • Vegetable soups especially of the low-sodium variety are also seen as being good values.
Image Source: Getty
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ella1978 ella1978 7 years
I try to be a seasonal shopper. Right now I'm still eating green peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash and apples. But we will slowy transition into more leeks, parsinips, potatoes, and once the apples are gone, citrus fruits (although they are my least favorite fruits...) We'll buy carrots, bananas, greens, leeks, mushrooms, broccoli, onions and potatoes year round.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I always buy carrots, broccoli, oranges and apples because they are incredibly cheap and very nutritious. I find that spinach, beans, and oats are a good nutritional value. I also wonder why berries are on there, but I'm guessing it's because they do provide a lot of antioxidants for what you pay for them. And if they are in season, they can be incredibly cheap.
zeze zeze 7 years
I think the berries are on there because they can carry some ridiculous nutrition for a very small serving, so while it is not cheap, you get a lot for a little in terms of how much you have to eat. And is the lettuce iceberg or romaine? I can see it with romaine, but iceberg has no value at all.
zeze zeze 7 years
I think the berries are on there because they can carry some ridiculous nutrition for a very small serving, so while it is not cheap, you get a lot for a little in terms of how much you have to eat.And is the lettuce iceberg or romaine? I can see it with romaine, but iceberg has no value at all.
bchicgrl bchicgrl 7 years
I'm surprised by the berries too, I find they are insanely expensive in stores and I try not to buy on sale unless I'm using them that day. The last time I bought berries on sale they were moldy after 2 days. I was quite annoyed. I normally only buy frozen for my smoothies.
michlny michlny 7 years
I'm surprised about lettuce....
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