What’s So Great About ANDI?

What’s So Great About ANDI?

Andy, you say? Which Andy? Not Gibb (although obviously pretty great) or Warhol (great… or weird?). We’re talking about ANDI “scores”, the system implemented in the last couple years by Whole Foods Markets to help consumers decipher those heaping mounds of fruits and vegetables and choose based on nutritional bang for their buck. And even if you don’t have a Whole Foods nearby (or need to save money for other things… oh like heat and rent), the beauty of the ANDI rating system is, once you know it you can shop anywhere and know you’re picking the best produce for you and the growing bambino (please say you named him Andy, how great would that be!?)

ANDI is Whole Foods Market’s nutrition rating system and stands for Aggregate Nutrient Density Index. Designed for the grocery chain by health and diet guru, Dr. Joel Furhman, the index is a “score assigned to whole foods (as opposed to packaged products) that contain the highest nutrients per calorie. Each of these whole foods is given a score based on the equation H=N/C, which is based on the idea that the health of a food is equal to the nutrients it delivers per calorie. Each ANDI score is based on a possible score of 1,000-0, with 1,000 being the most nutrient dense and 0 being the least nutrient dense. Kale, mustard greens, collard greens, and watercress all receive a score of 1,000 using the H=N/C equation, while foods like meat, seafood, and dairy products receive scores below 50”. (Source)

The ANDI index covers five categories: green vegetables, non-green vegetables, fruit, beans, and nuts and seeds. It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that kale and collards top the green veggie list, with arugula rounding out the top ten. Slightly more surprising is the star of the non-green vegetable list. Radishes. Yeah. Poor little 90’s crudité dude is making a comeback in a big way! 400 points above number ten on the list, butternut squash. Does this mean I need to make radish soup next weekend? Is that even a thing?

On the fruit list, strawberries are king. Which would be great news if this post was written in June but just tuck that knowledge away for next year or buy flash frozen, make a smoothie and pretend you’re by the pool! Apples rank high which is good news for Fall and apricots make the list at number ten.

It’s not exactly Earth shattering, this list but if you’re like most parents, rushing through the grocery store at break-neck speed because you’ve got a. a screaming baby b. a hungry toddler who is about to become a screaming baby or c. seventeen stops to make before you can even think about getting home to throw some food down the gullets of all the screaming babies you’re responsible for, you probably tend to grab the same things time and time again. Green peppers, check (didn’t make the list), romaine lettuce, check (nope), bananas, check (not so much). Which is NOT to say those foods aren’t healthy but only that others might be helpful in jamming a little more nutrition onto the four bitefuls junior has decided he’s willing to eat this week.

Want to see the full list? Check here. Or here for the similar NuVal rating which includes packaged foods.

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