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.