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Open AccessArticle

The Calorie and Nutrient Density of More- Versus Less-Processed Packaged Food and Beverage Products in the Canadian Food Supply

Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada
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Nutrients 2019, 11(11), 2782; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11112782
Received: 21 October 2019 / Revised: 12 November 2019 / Accepted: 13 November 2019 / Published: 15 November 2019
The association between the degree of processing and healthfulness of foods remains unclear. Most evidence of this relationship is based on dietary intake surveys rather than individual products and varies depending on the food processing classification system used. This study aimed to compare the nutritional quality of more- versus less-processed packaged foods and beverages in Canada, using a large, branded food database and two processing classification systems. Nutritional information for products (n = 17,269) was sourced from the University of Toronto FLIP 2017 database. Products were categorized using the NOVA and Poti et al. processing classification systems. Calories, sodium, saturated fat, total and free sugars, fibre and protein per 100 g (or mL) were examined by processing category using descriptive statistics and linear regression. Overall, the most-processed products under both systems were more likely to be lower in protein, and higher in total and free sugars, compared with less-processed foods (p < 0.05); the direction and strength of the association between other nutrients/components and level of processing were less consistent. These findings demonstrate that calorie- and nutrient-dense foods exist across different levels of processing, suggesting that food choices and dietary recommendations should be based primarily on energy or nutrient density rather than processing classification. View Full-Text
Keywords: food processing; NOVA; nutritional quality; food supply food processing; NOVA; nutritional quality; food supply
MDPI and ACS Style

Vergeer, L.; Veira, P.; Bernstein, J.T.; Weippert, M.; L’Abbé, M.R. The Calorie and Nutrient Density of More- Versus Less-Processed Packaged Food and Beverage Products in the Canadian Food Supply. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2782.

AMA Style

Vergeer L, Veira P, Bernstein JT, Weippert M, L’Abbé MR. The Calorie and Nutrient Density of More- Versus Less-Processed Packaged Food and Beverage Products in the Canadian Food Supply. Nutrients. 2019; 11(11):2782.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vergeer, Laura; Veira, Paige; Bernstein, Jodi T.; Weippert, Madyson; L’Abbé, Mary R. 2019. "The Calorie and Nutrient Density of More- Versus Less-Processed Packaged Food and Beverage Products in the Canadian Food Supply" Nutrients 11, no. 11: 2782.

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