Missing Nutrient Values
All nutrient information provided in this analysis is based on scientific research. The complete nutrient composition of some foods has yet to be scientifically determined. Given the absence of nutrient values for all foods, this analysis may underestimate your actual nutrient intake.
Foods Not Subject to Analysis
The 125 healthiest foods appearing on this website represent a specially selected core of nutrient dense foods. As a way to simplify your personalized eating analysis, we decided to focus on your intake of these important foods. During any given week, you may eat many other foods that provide nutrients being analyzed here. However, because many foods not included in our list - including processed foods, fried foods, and sweets - tend to be low in nutrient density, they can only provide you with nutrients at a high calorie cost. While we believe that you can get many of your required nutrients without eating any of the 125 healthiest foods on this website, we believe that you can do so only at the expense of greatly overeating, consuming excess calories, and becoming extremely unhealthy. To keep your nutrient intake in a generally safe zone, we recommend that you get at least 75% of your total day's calories from the World's Healthiest Foods. We also recommend that you keep your intake of fast foods, pre-packaged foods, processed foods, fried foods, and sweets to less than 25% of your total day's calories. Please use the calorie feedback section in the Food Advisor to find out if your current food intake falls into the safe zone or not.
Non-Reported Nutrient Values
The nutrient information provided n this website was derived from the December 2000 foods database developed by ESHA Research in Salem, Oregon, USA. (This database is the key component of Food Processor for Windows, Version 7.60, which was used to conduct all nutritional calculations on this website). Contained in the ESHA foods database were 21,629 food records. Although many of these food records lacked information for one or more nutrients, at least 90% of the food records lacked information for 8 specific nutrients. These nutrients were: molybdenum (19,396 records with missing data), vitamin K (19,993 records), iodine (20,389 records), chromium (21,211 records), boron (21,255 records), choline (21,283 records), fluoride (21,541 records), and vanadium (21,561 records). In the overwhelming absence of scientific data, we decided to exclude these 8 nutrients from our quantitative analyses.
Daily Values and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Daily Values (DVs) are nutritional standards used on food labels to show the amounts of nutrients in one serving of food. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture have required this information on food labels since 1994. Daily values are actually based on two other sets of standards. The first set of standards is called the Reference Daily Intake (or RDI). These standards are used to set the DV for most vitamins and minerals. The second set of standards are the Daily Reference Values (DRVs). These standards are used to set the DV for total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, total carbohydrate, fiber, sodium, potassium, and protein.
One extremely important family of nutrients - the omega-3 fatty acids - have never been given an official Daily Value (DV) by government agencies. However, in 1999, the National Institutes of Health sponsored a workshop to develop public health recommendations for omega-3 fatty acids. A prestigious group of researchers, led by Artemis Simopoulos, MD, Alexander Leaf, MD, and Norman Salem, Jr, PhD, concluded that at least 1.2% of total calories should consist of omega-3 fatty acids. Because DVs throughout this website are based on a 1,800-calorie reference diet for a 31-50 year-old reference female, we took 1.2% of 1,800 calories as our omega-3 fatty acid recommendation. This amount converted into a 2.4 gram per day omega-3 fatty acid requirement.