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A New Carbohydrate Food Quality Scoring System to Reflect Dietary Guidelines: An Expert Panel Report

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Center for Public Health Nutrition, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
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MS-Nutrition, Faculté de Médecine La Timone, CEDEX 5, 13385 Marseille, France
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Nutritional Strategies Inc., Nutrition Research & Regulatory Affairs, Paris, ON N3L 0A3, Canada
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Emerita, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science, St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN 55105, USA
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Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, Brooks College of Health, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA
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Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
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School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
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OMNI Nutrition Science, Davis, CA 95616, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Megan A. McCrory
Nutrients 2022, 14(7), 1485; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071485
Received: 14 February 2022 / Revised: 28 March 2022 / Accepted: 29 March 2022 / Published: 2 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition Methodology & Assessment)
Existing metrics of carbohydrate food quality have been based, for the most part, on favorable fiber- and free sugar-to-carbohydrate ratios. In these metrics, higher nutritional quality carbohydrate foods are defined as those with >10% fiber and <10% free sugar per 100 g carbohydrate. Although fiber- and sugar-based metrics may help to differentiate the nutritional quality of various types of grain products, they may not aptly capture the nutritional quality of other healthy carbohydrate foods, including beans, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. Carbohydrate food quality metrics need to be applicable across these diverse food groups. This report introduces a new carbohydrate food scoring system known as a Carbohydrate Food Quality Score (CFQS), which supplements the fiber and free sugar components of previous metrics with additional dietary components of public health concern (e.g., sodium, potassium, and whole grains) as identified by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Two CFQS models are developed and tested in this study: one that includes four dietary components (CFQS-4: fiber, free sugars, sodium, potassium) and one that considers five dietary components (CFQS-5: fiber, free sugars, sodium, potassium, and whole grains). These models are applied to 2596 carbohydrate foods in the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS) 2017–2018. Consistent with past studies, the new carbohydrate food scoring system places large percentages of beans, vegetables, and fruits among the top scoring carbohydrate foods. The whole grain component, which only applies to grain foods (N = 1561), identifies ready-to-eat cereals, oatmeal, other cooked cereals, and selected whole grain breads and crackers as higher-quality carbohydrate foods. The new carbohydrate food scoring system shows a high correlation with the Nutrient Rich Food (NRF9.3) index and the Nutri-Score. Metrics of carbohydrate food quality that incorporate whole grains, potassium, and sodium, in addition to sugar and fiber, are strategically aligned with multiple 2020–2025 dietary recommendations and may therefore help with the implementation of present and future dietary guidelines. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbohydrate foods; nutrient profiling; fiber; free sugars; whole grain; sodium; potassium; Dietary Guidelines for Americans carbohydrate foods; nutrient profiling; fiber; free sugars; whole grain; sodium; potassium; Dietary Guidelines for Americans
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MDPI and ACS Style

Drewnowski, A.; Maillot, M.; Papanikolaou, Y.; Jones, J.M.; Rodriguez, J.; Slavin, J.; Angadi, S.S.; Comerford, K.B. A New Carbohydrate Food Quality Scoring System to Reflect Dietary Guidelines: An Expert Panel Report. Nutrients 2022, 14, 1485. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071485

AMA Style

Drewnowski A, Maillot M, Papanikolaou Y, Jones JM, Rodriguez J, Slavin J, Angadi SS, Comerford KB. A New Carbohydrate Food Quality Scoring System to Reflect Dietary Guidelines: An Expert Panel Report. Nutrients. 2022; 14(7):1485. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071485

Chicago/Turabian Style

Drewnowski, Adam, Matthieu Maillot, Yanni Papanikolaou, Julie M. Jones, Judith Rodriguez, Joanne Slavin, Siddhartha S. Angadi, and Kevin B. Comerford. 2022. "A New Carbohydrate Food Quality Scoring System to Reflect Dietary Guidelines: An Expert Panel Report" Nutrients 14, no. 7: 1485. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071485

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