Food With Nutrition Value

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Nutritional value or nutritive value as part of food quality is the measure of a well-balanced ratio of the essential nutrients carbohydrates, fat, protein, minerals, and vitamins in items of food or diet concerning the nutrient requirements of their consumer. Several nutritional rating systems and nutrition facts label have been implemented to rank food in terms of its nutritional value. International and national guidelines exist to inform consumers about optimal nutrient intake from their diets

How Can I Eat More Nutrient-Dense Foods?

Super foods or nutrient dense foods 

What Does Nutrient-Dense Mean?

Research suggests the standard American diet is energy-rich and nutrient-poor. And when we say energy, we mean calories! That’s where the saying “empty calories” comes from — it refers to foods that provide a lot of calories without much nutritional value.

Nutrient-dense foods are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients important for health, without too much saturated fat, added sugars and sodium. We’re talking fruits, vegetables, whole grains, non-fat and low-fat dairy, fish and seafood, unprocessed lean meat and skinless poultry, nuts and legumes. You know, the good stuff! 

The basic concept of nutrient density is the amount of nutrients you get for the calories consumed.

Think of it this way: You’re looking at the labels trying to decide between two packages of bread. One has about 80 calories per slice, but few vitamins and minerals. The whole-grain version has about the same number of calories, but more protein, three times the magnesium, and more than double the fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and zinc.3 The whole-grain option is the more nutrient-dense choice.

How to Identify Nutrient-Dense Foods

Nutrient profiling is the science of ranking or classifying foods based on the nutrients they contain.4 Several nutrient-density profiling tools have been proposed by nutrition experts. Some tools are designed for health professionals to use when counseling clients and patients, and some are consumer-focused. You may have seen some promoted in your grocery store. 

Most of these tools consider beneficial and often under-consumed nutrients (such as calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and fiber), as well as those known to negatively affect health when consumed in excess (such as added sugars, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium).1

A balanced approach is important. A heart-healthy dietary pattern includes:

  • Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables
  • Choosing whole grains
  • Selecting healthy sources of protein, mostly from plant sources (legumes and nuts), fish or seafood, low-fat or nonfat dairy and lean cuts of meat
  • Limiting red and processed meats, sodium, added sugars and alcohol. 

Even the trusty Nutrition Facts label, for example, draws attention to the calories and fat content at the top. One study found that consumers tend to read only the first five components (servings, calories, total fat, saturated fat and trans fat) of the Nutrition Facts label.5  To identify nutrient-dense foods we need to be sure to read further down the label to the other beneficial nutrients such as calcium, potassium and fiber.

Sounds complicated, right? We’re here to help. One of the tools you can use to choose more nutrient-dense foods is the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark. When you see it, you can be confident the product aligns with our recommendations for an overall healthy eating pattern. The Heart-Check mark considers beneficial nutrients as well as nutrients you should limit, making it quick and easy for you to make a healthy choice.

When a Heart-Check certified option isn’t available, read and compare Nutrition Facts labels and choose the best option available.

How to Add Them to Your Healthy Eating Plan

Now that you understand what nutrient-dense foods are, you can start adding more into your eating plan. Sometimes it only takes a small shift to make a more nutrient-dense choice. For example:

  • Switch from white rice to brown rice.
  • Replace sugary drinks with water, unsweetened tea, or coffee.
  • Instead of a big dollop of sour cream on your chili or baked potato, try plain nonfat Greek yogurt.
  • When adding toppings to pizza, tacos or sandwiches, think one more veggie instead of meat or cheese.
  • Snack on crunchy vegetables or a handful of nuts instead of chips.
  • Satisfy a sweet tooth with naturally sweet fruit instead of candy and cookies.

By making some simple swaps in your favorite recipes or reimagining favorite dishes, you can boost the nutrient density of your family’s meals and snacks.

What about snacks?

Most of us, including kids and adolescents, get a significant portion of our daily energy (calories) from snacks — foods and drinks we have between regular meals. When we think of traditional snack foods and drinks, they tend to be higher in saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. For example, sugary drinks (like carbonated sodas, sports drinks and sweet tea) are usually quite high in calories and low in nutrient density.

When snacking, choose mostly nutrient-dense foods such as nonfat or low-fat dairy products, a variety of fruits and vegetables and nuts.

The Takeaway

  • By choosing more nutrient-dense foods, you’ll get the beneficial nutrients your body needs without consuming too many calories.
  • Focus on your overall eating pattern, rather than individual nutrients or specific foods or food groups.

1 OF 5 LIST OF FOODS AND THEIR NUTRIENTS IN DETAILS

1 of 5 List of Foods and Their Nutrients in Details


1 of 5 List of Foods and Their Nutrients in Details

List of foods along with their nutrition

Apples and their Nutrients / Nutrition

“An Apple a day keeps doctors away.”

Apples are sometimes called “nutritional powerhouses” because of their impressive nutritional profile. Apples are among the world’s most popular fruits. Apples contain about 14% of our daily needs of Vitamin C (a powerful natural antioxidant), B-complex vitamins, dietary fiber, phytonutrients (which help protect the body from the detrimental effects of free radicals), and minerals such as calcium and potassium.

Studies have revealed that eating apples can potentially help prevent dementia and reduce the risk of stroke and diabetes.

Here are the nutrition facts for one raw, unpeeled, medium-sized apple (100 grams):

  • Calories: 52
  • Water: 86%
  • Protein: 0.3 grams
  • Carbs: 13.8 grams
  • Sugar: 10.4 grams
  • Fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams

To know about Nutrients of Coffee, Flaxseed, Garlic, Ginger, Grapes, Grapefruit, Grean Tea, Honey read 2 of 5 List of Foods and Their Nutrients in Details

Almonds and their Nutrients / Nutrition

Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium, good quality protein, and healthy unsaturated fatty acids.

Studies have revealed that almonds can potentially help prevent cardiovascular diseases, cut the risk of cancer, and help prolong life.

Almonds boast an impressive nutrient profile. A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of almonds contains:

  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams (9 of which are monounsaturated)
  • Vitamin E: 37% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 32% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 20% of the RDI
  • They also contain a decent amount of copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and phosphorus.

Bananas and their Nutrients / Nutrition

Bananas are naturally free of fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and very rich in potassium.

The potential health benefits of bananas include: lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of developing childhood leukemia, and supporting heart health.

The nutrition facts for 1 medium-sized banana (100 grams):

  • Calories: 89
  • Water: 75%
  • Protein: 1.1 grams
  • Carbs: 22.8 grams
  • Sugar: 12.2 grams
  • Fiber: 2.6 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams

To know about Nutrients of kiwifruit, Mango, Milk, Mint, Mushrooms, Oats, Oily Fish read 3 of 5 List of Foods and Their Nutrients in Details

Beetroot and their Nutrients / Nutrition

Beetroot, also known simply as the beet, has been gaining in popularity as a new super food due to recent studies claiming that beets and beetroot juice can improve athletic performance, lower blood pressure and increase blood flow.

This is partly due to its high content of nitrates, which increase nitric oxide in the body and play a substantial role in heart and vascular health.

Beetroot is a rich source of folate and manganese, and also contains thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, choline, betaine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and selenium.

100 grams of raw beetroots boasts the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 43
  • Water: 88%
  • Protein: 1.6 grams
  • Carbs: 9.6 grams
  • Sugar: 6.8 grams
  • Fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams

Broccoli and their Nutrients / Nutrition

Broccoli contains high levels of fiber (both soluble and insoluble) and is a rich source of vitamin C. In addition, broccoli is rich in vitamin A, iron, vitamin K, B-complex vitamins, zinc, phosphorus, and phytonutrients.

Studies have found that broccoli can potentially help prevent osteoarthritis, protect skin against the effects of UV light, reverse diabetes heart damage, and reduce bladder cancer risk.

The nutrition facts for 100 grams of raw broccoli are:

  • Calories: 31
  • Water: 89%
  • Protein: 2.5 grams
  • Carbs: 6 grams
  • Sugar: 1.5 grams
  • Fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams

To know about Nutrients of Olive oil, Onions, Oranges, Oregano, Papaya, Peaches, Peppermint, Pineapple read 4 of 5 List of Foods and Their Nutrients in Details

Carrots and their Nutrients / Nutrition

Carrots are a great source of vitamin A, good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. They’re a weight-loss-friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels

The potential health benefits of carrots include: preventing lung cancer, destroying leukemia cells and inhibiting their progression, and helping to restore vision.

The nutrition facts for two small-to-medium raw carrots (100 grams) are:

  • Calories: 41
  • Water: 88%
  • Protein: 0.9 grams
  • Carbs: 9.6 grams
  • Sugar: 4.7 grams
  • Fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams

Cauliflower and their Nutrients / Nutrition

Cauliflowers are a member of the brassica family, more commonly known as cruciferous vegetables. They contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that can protect against cancer. They also contain fiber that helps with satiety, weight loss, and a healthy digestive tract, choline that is essential for learning and memory, as well as many other important nutrients.

The potential health benefits of cauliflower include preventing mutations and reducing stress from free radicals, preventing constipation, and helping memory.

The nutrition facts for cauliflower (100 grams) are:

  • Calories: 25
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 77% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 20% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 11% of the RDI
  • Folate: 14% of the RDI
  • Pantothenic acid: 7% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 8% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI

To know about Nutrients of Potatoes, Pumpkin, Spinach, Strawberries, Sweet Potatoes, Tofu, Tomatoes, Watermelon read 5 of 5 List of Foods and Their Nutrients in Details

Chickpeas and their Nutrients / Nutrition

Originally cultivated in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have spread their culinary influence throughout the world.

The potential health benefits of chickpeas include improved glucose levels, lipids, and insulin levels for diabetes, maintaining bone strength and heart health.

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving provides the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 46
  • Carbs: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Folate: 12% of the RDI
  • Iron: 4% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 5% of the RDI
  • Copper: 5% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 14% of the RDI

Chocolate and their Nutrients / Nutrition

Chocolate is rich in antioxidants. Despite its bad reputation for causing weight gain, there are a number of health benefits associated with its consumption (particularly dark chocolate).

The potential benefits of eating chocolate include: lowering cholesterol levels, preventing cognitive decline, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems.

100 gms chocolate provides the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 546
  • Total Fat: 31 g 47%
  • Saturated fat: 19 g 95%
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1 g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 10 g
  • Trans fat: 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 8 mg 2%
  • Sodium: 24 mg 1%
  • Potassium: 559 mg 15%
  • Total Carbohydrate: 61 g 20%
  • Dietary fiber: 7 g 28%
  • Sugar: 48 g
  • Protein: 4.9 g 9%

Coriander and their Nutrients / Nutrition

Known as coriander in the United Kingdom, cilantro comes from the plant Coriandrum sativum. In the United States, the leaves of the plant are referred to as cilantro (the Spanish translation), and the seeds are referred to as coriander.

Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like cilantro decreases the risk of obesity, overall mortality, diabetes, and heart disease while promoting a healthy skin and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight.

Nutritional value per 100 gms

  • Energy 95 kJ (23 kcal)
  • Carbohydrates: 3.67 g
  • Sugars: 0.87
  • Dietary fiber: 2.8 g
  • Fat: 0.52 g
  • Protein: 2.13 g

Cinnamon and their Nutrients / Nutrition

Studies have found that cinnamon can potentially be effective against HIV, improve glucose and lipid levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and stop the destructive process of multiple sclerosis (MS).

In addition, researchers at Penn State found that consuming cinnamon can help reduce the body’s negative responses to eating high-fat meals.

Amount Per 100 grams

  • Calories: 247
  • Total Fat: 1.2 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.3 g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.2 g
  • Sodium: 10 mg
  • Potassium: 431 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 81 g
  • Dietary fiber: 53 g
  • Sugar: 2.2 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Food processing and nutrition

Summary

  • The nutrient value of food is almost always altered by the kind of processing it undergoes.
  • The water-soluble vitamins are the most vulnerable to processing and cooking.
  • Careful cooking and storage will help retain the nutrients in your food.
  • Excessive consumption of ultra-processed foods can result in weight gain in the short term and diet-related disease in the long term.

About food processing

Almost all food is processed in some way before it is eaten. Commercially, the main reasons to process food are to eliminate micro-organisms (which may cause disease) and to extend shelf life.

Simply cooking or combining a food with other foodstuffs to create a recipe is also considered a form of food processing. Whatever the case, the nutrient value of any food is often altered by the processing.

Effects of processing and storage of food

Some vitamins are more stable (less affected by processing) than others. Water-soluble vitamins (B-group and C) are more unstable than fat-soluble vitamins (K, A, D and E) during food processing and storage.

The most unstable vitamins include:

  • folate
  • thiamine
  • vitamin C.

More stable vitamins include:

  • niacin (vitamin B3)
  • vitamin K
  • vitamin D
  • biotin (vitamin B7)
  • pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).

Processes affecting food nutrient content

A variety of things can happen during the growing, harvesting, storage and preparing of food that can affect its nutritional content. Processes that expose foods to high levels of heat, light or oxygen cause the greatest nutrient loss.

Fertilisers

Most plant crops are produced with the aid of fertilised soils. High use of nitrogen fertilisers tends to reduce the vitamin C content in many fruit and vegetable crops. It does not seem to make any difference to the plant’s nutrient value whether the fertiliser is organic or not.

Milling

Cereals such as wheat can be ground to remove the fibrous husks. The husks contain most of the plant’s dietary fibre, B-group vitamins, phytochemicals and some minerals.

That is why products such as white bread are less nutritious than wholemeal varieties, even if they have been artificially fortified with some of the nutrients that were lost after milling.

It is impossible to add back everything that is taken out, especially the phytochemicals. The ‘fibre’ that is added back to some products is often in the form of resistant starch, which may not be as beneficial as the fibre removed.

Blanching

Before a food is canned or frozen, it is usually heated very quickly with steam or water. The water-soluble vitamins, including vitamin C and B-complex, are sensitive and easily destroyed by blanching.

Canning

Food is heated inside the can to kill any dangerous micro-organisms and extend the food’s shelf life. Some types of micro-organisms require severe heat treatment and this may affect the taste and texture of the food, making it less appealing. Preservatives are generally not needed or used in canned foods.

Water-soluble vitamins are particularly sensitive to high temperatures. Many people believe that canned foods are not as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, but this is not always the case, as fresh food often deteriorates more rapidly than canned foods.

Freezing

The nutrient value of a food is retained when it is frozen. Any nutrient losses are due to the processing prior to freezing and the cooking once the frozen food is thawed.

Pasteurisation

Pasteurisation involves heating liquid foods such as milk and fruit juices to specific temperatures to destroy micro-organisms. The nutrient value of milk is generally unaffected. In the case of pasteurised fruit juices, some losses of vitamin C can occur.

High pressure processing

This alternative preservation method subjects a food to elevated pressures, with or without the use of heat to kill micro-organisms. This method has been used in foods such as fruit juices. As heat is not required, this process impacts less on the vitamin content, flavour and colour of foods.

Dehydrating

Drying out foods such as fruits can reduce the amount of vitamin C they retain, but it can also concentrate other nutrients, particularly fibre in plant foods. Dehydrating food also makes food products more energy dense, which may contribute to weight gain.

If a dehydrated food is reconstituted and cooked with water, further nutrients are leached out of the food and lost in the cooking water.

Preparation of vegetables

Most vegetables are peeled or trimmed before cooking to remove the tough skin or outer leaves. But most nutrients, such as vitamins, tend to lie close to the skin surface, so excessive trimming can mean a huge reduction in a vegetable’s nutrient value.

Losing nutrients through cooking

Some vitamins dissolve in water, so you lose your vitamins to the cooking water if you prefer to boil your vegetables. For example, boiling a potato can cause much of the potato’s B and C vitamins to migrate into the boiling water.

It is still possible to benefit from these nutrients if you consume the liquid, for example, by turning the potato and the liquid into a soup. Alternative cooking methods such as grilling, roasting, steaming, stir-frying or microwaving generally preserve a greater amount of vitamins and other nutrients.

Benefits of cooking food

It would be inaccurate to say that cooking food always lessens the nutrient value. Cooking can be advantageous in many ways, including:

  • making the food tastier
  • breaking down parts of vegetables that would otherwise be indigestible
  • destroying bacteria or other harmful micro-organisms
  • making phytochemicals more available, for instance, phytochemicals are more available in cooked tomatoes than in raw tomatoes. (Phytochemicals are chemicals produced by plants).

Preserving the nutrient value of vegetables

Some suggestions to retain the maximum nutrition in the foods you cook include:

  • Store foods properly, such as keeping cold foods cold and sealing some foods in airtight containers.
  • Keep vegetables in the crisper section of the refrigerator.
  • Try washing or scrubbing vegetables rather than peeling them.
  • Use the outer leaves of vegetables like cabbage or lettuce unless they are wilted or unpalatable.
  • Microwave, steam, roast or grill vegetables rather than boiling them.
  • If you boil your vegetables, save the nutrient-laden water for soup stock.
  • Use fresh ingredients whenever possible.
  • Cook foods quickly.

Ultra-processed foods 

Ultra-processed foods and beverages are products formulated from industrial processes and/or contain industrially derived ingredients.  

The processing techniques used in ultra-processed foods differ from the more basic and traditional methods described above. Industrial techniques include fractionation, hydrogenation, hydrolysis, extrusion, moulding and pre-frying.  

Ultra-processed foods are typically highly convenient and palatable, and tend to be high in added sugarssalt, oils and fats. They also contain ingredients and additives that can’t usually be found in a home pantry, such as artificial colours and flavours, emulsifiers, and inverted sugars.   

Some common examples of ultra-processed foods include:  

  • carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks
  • confectionary, biscuits, pastries  
  • sweetened breakfast cereals  
  • pre-prepared meat, cheese, pasta and pizza dishes  
  • sausages, burgers, hot dogs and other reconstituted meat products  
  • powdered and packaged ‘instant’ soups, noodles and desserts. 

Ultra-processed food and health 

Consumption of ultra-processed foods can lead to increased energy intake, resulting in weight gain.  

A high proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet is also linked to:  

  • obesity
  • cardiovascular and metabolic diseases  
  • cancer
  • gastrointestinal disorders
  • depression.  

The mechanisms explaining the association between consumption of ultra-processed foods and chronic disease are still unclear. However it is likely explained in part by increased intake of sugar, salt, fats and oils, increased energy intake due to their hyperpalatable nature, and the displacement of meals prepared from nutritious unprocessed and minimally processed foods.

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