Nutrients Per Calorie – Math Proves The Healthiest Lowest Calorie Foods

Thinking of turning this into a newsletter since getting user contributions. Let me know what you think of this format.

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Interested In Nutrient Dense Food? You arent alone.

Matt commented on 10-6-17 that he wanted to see this augmented nutrition per dollar with mass.

The Nutrition Per Dollar table has been updated to include this measurement. You can download the raw data here.

Instead of dozens of pictures, if you are curious how to get the most vitamin A per Calorie, use the excel file and sort.

The Math- Dividing By Max To Remove Dimensions

The units were a bit daunting, ie: (micrograms of Folate Per gram of food)

We removed the dimensions-

Rank= Nutrient Per Gram / Best(max) Nutrient Per Gram

For example:

We then add the nutrients that the USDA provided. Summed up…

Nutrients Per Gram Ranked

This is probably most useful for hikers who are trying to limit the weight of food.

Nutrients Per Calorie Ranked

This was my real fascination, what are the most nutrient dense foods per calorie?

This is what many people would consider ‘The Healthiest Foods’.


Fresh Green Veggies top the list of highest Nutrients Per Calorie.

Peanuts and Almonds are relatively light weight and are packed with Nutrients.

Fortified foods like Cereal and Flour scored high in Nutrient Per Gram, but low in Nutrient Per Calorie.

Anything shown on the list is in the top 30% of foods studied, if your goal is to maximize, consume more foods on the list.

Draw Your Own Conclusions With The Raw Excel Data

Let me know what you think of this newsletter format.

Did you like a short article with lots of data? Or should I include more conclusions? Did you like having new content before the main article?

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8 thoughts on “Nutrients Per Calorie – Math Proves The Healthiest Lowest Calorie Foods

  • October 18, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Interesting. I see how you equated units of, say, zinc with units of Vitamin D. I’m chewing on this approach (bad pun). Shouldn’t it be subject to some minimum level of each required nutrient? Or is that a different goal entirely?

    • October 18, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      They are valued equally during the final summation.

      To clarify, this does not mean a straight addition of zinc mg +vitamin d micrograms. This is (zinc / zinc max) + (vitamin d / vitamin d Max) + the rest.

      I can easily do linear algebra to optimize nutrition based on daily requirements, however Id like to get In contact with a regarded nutritionist before conducting that study.

  • October 18, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Your spelling is atrocious

    • October 18, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Spelling is not perfect, yeah, but the content is awesome.

      • October 18, 2017 at 5:51 pm

        Agreed, good content, don’t sweat the spelling.

        Regarding the newsletter format, this was fine. Keep making articles!

    • October 18, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      Noted, I’ll have to get my other half to read it over before release.

  • October 18, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Amazing raw data, thank you!

    I think getting rid of the dimensions was a good idea. However, I would have loved to see some kind of inclusion of the daily recommended amounts of nutrients for each food. Because Oranges may have the highest Vitamin C, but if Bell Peppers have my daily dose of Vitamin C AND my daily dose of riboflavin, then I don’t really care about eating oranges.

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