Tuesday, August 18, 2009


There are lot of misconceptions regarding the nutritional and health benefits one can derive by consuming different foods. Current practice of nutritional labeling does not indicate the quality of the nutrients present but declare quantitative figures for some nutrients/constituents like calories, protein, fat including trans fats and unsaturated fats, dietary fiber, carbohydrates including sugar, sodium etc. Consumer is at a loss regarding the significance of these figures and cannot correlate them to real health benefits or hazards. The new tool, Nutritional Rich Foods (NRF) Index, being proposed based on prevalent information on good eating will hopefully help the consumers to exercise their choice knowingly.

"Developed by two doctors, Drs. Adam Drewnowski and Victor Fulgoni, the Nutrient Rich Foods (NRF) Index is a validated, objective, and consumer-driven guide that ranks foods according to how nutrient-rich they are. Using the USDA Healthy Eating Index as a base, this new NRF Index takes into account all of the nutrients a given food contains, not just the ones to avoid or limit, like fat, sodium or sugar grams".

NRF takes into consideration the levels of some 'positive'' like proteins and factors presence of negative nutrient concentrations like that of sugar, fat etc to arrive at a number; higher the number better should be the foods. How far industry will accept such a nutritional profiling method for printing on the label or whether the Index can get necessary approval from the concerned authorities remains to be seen. Consumer will certainly welcome such a transparent window to look at the contents of a pack from nutritional angle.


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