ANDI Scoring System- Eating the Most Nutritious Foods Possible, Be a Nutritarian

veggiesI watch all the “diets” and read most of the books in search of wisdom and truth in matters of food and nutrition.  I have no doubt that we are what we eat.  None of us will die of a medication deficiency (except perhaps if you are already insulin dependent- take your insulin). Most of us suffer from nutrient deficiencies and the excesses of eating foods (and things that should not be called food- e.g. aspartame). 

Vegetarians are some of the longest lived people, yet certain nutrient deficiencies like B12, can cause serious health problems if not addressed.

Diets, like the Atkins diet, were all the rage and did work for weight loss, but were not associated with a  longer healthier life.  Most of the famous diets of the past decades have had relative success in the weight loss area, though many are hard to continue as a life-style. 

Joel Fuhrman MD, chief medical officer of Eat Right America and author of the book “Eat for Health” devised the ANDI system (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index). Whole Foods has adopted this system to help shoppers buy more nutrient dense foods (you can see more about that here… ). This ANDI system bases it’s rankings on the amount of micronutrients (like calcium, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants) relative to a food’s caloric value.  His thinking is that health is equal to your nutrients divided by your calories.  Calories are bad, nutrients are good. Foods are rated on a 1-1000 scale, with Kale and other greens scoring a perfect 1000 and Coca Cola scoring a 1. 

I have a nurse friend who, after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma, had a sed rate (ESR) of 75, that she lowered to single digits in three months of focus on the high nutrient foods on the ANDI list.  She basically ate greens, and vegetables with some home-made fresh ground walnuts and organic balsamic vinegar for dressing.  Her rheumatologist, who wanted to prescribe prednisone and high powered immunosuppressants, was shocked.

You see, MD’s (I am one so can say this) are taught to diagnose and treat.  Our treatment options are pharmaceuticals. Our training on nutrients as medicine is very lacking. There is no money to fund research on the healing properties of food!  

I like Fuhrman’s coined word “nutritarian”.  The focus should be on micronutrients and whole real food.  If you add a little more of the healthy fats, cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil, some fresh raw seeds like almonds, flax and sunflower seeds, and avoid foods to which you are sensitive, I wonder what percentage of disease as we know it today would be eliminated.  If you are suffering from any illness of inflammation or diseases of civilization (think everything), try this way of eating. Become a Nutritarian- one who focuses on getting nutrients!


Thanks Dr Fuhrman.  His web site is


Dr. Paul


Reply To This Post