ANDI Scores

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Morning!  Hope all is well with you.  Let’s dive right in, shall we?


Last night, a reader named Lili sent me a link to the ANDI score system.  This concept, which is a lot like NuVal, is a pretty cool way to look at food. 


ANDI stands for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index," which ranks the nutrient density of a food on a scale from 1 to 1000 based on nutrient content. ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidant capacities.  (Source)


The Whole Foods site lists the top ten Green Vegetables, Vegetables, Fruit, Beans, Nuts + Seeds, Whole Grains, Meat, Fish, Cheese, and Dairy, according to the ANDI system.


First up: Non-green vegetables.  I was disappointed to read this list because I prefer tomatoes and carrots over radish and red pepper!  But I guess they’re all in the Top 10 so it’s okay. 🙂

nongreen vegetables andi

Next: Green Vegetables!  This is why I am so obsessed with eating greens.  Collard greens, my new favorite, scores a perfect 1000!

green vegetables ANDI

I also pulled the Fruit list.  I was kind of surprised how highly strawberries ranked according to blueberries since you always hear about blueberries’ health benefits (oh, marketing…).

fruit andi

And last, but not least, the Beans list.  Interesting, indeed!  Fun little pro-vegetarian factoid:  The Top 10 Beans are all at least double the rankings of Top 10 Meat, and tofu is also ranked higher than almost all of the meats (the fish fare better).


(Source for all tables here)


Pretty cool, huh? I like any system that encourages people to look beyond the caloric information and into the nutrient density of a food.  Food is fuel!  Might as well make it powerful fuel, right?


Breakfast featured some ANDI Top 10’s!  Eggs got a 27, spinach got a 739, and oranges received a 109.  Bananas and Bagel Thins were unranked. 🙂




We are off to the worst place on the planet.  The DMV.  Wish us luck.


What do you think of the ANDI scores?  Are you surprised at any of the rankings?  You can see them all here.



  • Faith @ lovelyascharged April 19, 2011, 7:40 am

    I really like the ANDI scores idea! It definitely helps you gauge your choices. I remember back when I first really started paying attention to what I was eating, I used a meal tracker/calorie counter that graded your choices for you – the A+/B-/etc ranking wasn’t as in-depth as the ANDI scores, but it definitely helped me get a “whole picture” idea of what I was eating – not just “oh hey, look, a granola bar – HEALTHY!”

  • Baking 'n' Books April 19, 2011, 7:40 am

    Meh, as long as it’s a fruit or vegetable I’ll eat it.

    But I’ll eat the bagel too please 🙂

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope April 19, 2011, 7:43 am

    What a really neat concept! Thanks for sharing this!

    Good luck on the DMV. I had to go last month to renew my license and it was quite and experience. 😉

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg April 19, 2011, 7:47 am

    I think the ANDI scores (and other systems like that) are a nice concept, but I wouldn’t really choose one veggie over another (except I will always choose romaine over iceberg, but that has more to do with taste and a little bit about nutrition).

    • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday April 19, 2011, 8:29 am

      I agree. I don’t think this will make me choose to eat strawberries instead of apples or something like that.

      There’s no such thing as unhealthy produce.

  • Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews April 19, 2011, 7:49 am

    Beautiful flowers : )

  • Khushboo April 19, 2011, 7:55 am

    I wrote a similar post about ANDI scores a while back

    While i do find such lists informative, I don’t think its a be-all-end-all case. Take peanut butter, I’m still going to be eating it regularly even though it didn’t make the cut.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 19, 2011, 8:00 am

    That’s a pretty cool system – and I’m glad to see some of my favourites like adzuki beans and kale ranking so highly! I’m surprised by a few as well though – like you mentioned, the blueberries being lower ranking than strawberries, the bok choi ranking higher than spinach, and the watermelon ranking higher than cherries. The watermelon is a surprise to me because I would assume cherries are more nutritionally dense. Thanks for the info – you learn something new every day! 🙂

  • Paige @Running Around Normal April 19, 2011, 8:09 am

    Huh! That is pretty interesting!
    Good luck at the Dmv – yikkess!

  • Hats @ See How She Runs April 19, 2011, 8:14 am

    If you use these sorts of systems to actually make choices with your food, you just need to be aware of what the ranks are based on. Personally, I wouldn’t use them – as long as I eat a balanced diet, I’m happy. I love all fruits and vegetables and wouldn’t choose one over another using a table, I’d do it based on my preference.

    I can see how other people might find them useful though.

  • Elizabeth@The Sweet Life April 19, 2011, 8:16 am

    I think this and other tools like it are great resources to educate people like you and most of your readers who are pretty healthy but could use a gentle reminder or a bit more info every now and then!

  • Nikki @ BareFootPrint April 19, 2011, 8:19 am

    ANDI is a very interesting concept! And can you share what is between the slices of that bagel thin?!?!

    • Caitlin April 19, 2011, 10:25 am

      Eggs and spinach!

  • Jessica @ Dishin' About Nutrition April 19, 2011, 8:21 am

    Thanks for sharing! I love the ANDI system, especially because I have never really believed in just looking at the calorie content of food.

  • DadHTP April 19, 2011, 8:25 am

    OK, I admit there’s bias in this remark – I’m a meat and potatoes guy, and I know I should eat more greens – but I would feel better about this system if it wasn’t an offshoot of Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck) that sells really expensive produce.

    • Hilary April 19, 2011, 9:01 am

      I agree w/ Caitlin’s Dad. I was shocked to see egg substitue ahead of egg white and egg on the list (granted, it’s by 2 points I think). But I googled the ingredients of the egg substitue and it definitely leaves me scratching my head as to how on earth it could possibly be better than an egg. Sure, if you’re vegetarian/ vegan- i get it but from a nutritional standpoint, that one is nonsense. While I appreciate the effort, this is clearly a Whole Foods ploy to sell their agenda.

      • Rachel April 19, 2011, 9:39 am

        I agree both with Caitlin’s dad and Hilary. I think ANDI scores are great for people who are new to a healthful lifestyle. However, in addition to being another means of marketing for Whole Foods, the system reduces food to its parts, rather than considers it a “whole.” The concept of ANDI goes against the idea of a food as a gestalt, and promotes it as a sum of its parts. I know Pollan’s In Defense of Food discussed this concept: that the value of food can’t be broken down into its nutrients.

        Also, it doesn’t consider individual dietary needs. For example, I eat carrots nearly every day because I have horrendous eyesight. While I know my eye problems are mostly genetic, I’ll do anything in my power to protect my eyes! So I try to incorporate tons of orange foods.

  • Katherine April 19, 2011, 8:26 am

    Oh, I love things like this! I am very surprised that bananas are unranked! Do you mean not ranked at all, or just not in the top 10?

    • Caitlin April 19, 2011, 10:25 am

      Just not in the top 10 🙂 I bet they are like, 11 😉 Bananas rule.

  • Ashley (The Vegetable Life) April 19, 2011, 8:29 am

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE how beans and tofu placed higher than meat! My meat-eating friends never believe me that I get enough nutrients as a vegetarian, but this is proof I can show them just to shut them up! 🙂

  • Amanda April 19, 2011, 8:29 am

    Very neat! We have NuVal in our local grocery store but I’ve never seen ANDI.

  • The Teenage Taste April 19, 2011, 8:35 am

    I was surprised that the score for eggs was really low. I know eggs are high in cholestorol, but they are still packed with vitamins and protein.
    I’m still liking the ANDI scoring though.

  • mel April 19, 2011, 8:48 am

    So sorry to post this but please vote for me!!
    Please go to this link on Fitness Magazine’s website and vote for me to be the face of fitness. I’m a newlywed and law student in the middle of final exams and could really use the winning prize-a vacation!! Please vote if you can. Thank you!!

    • Caitlin April 19, 2011, 10:24 am

      Voted!!! Good luck!

      • mel April 19, 2011, 10:38 am

        thank you so much Caitlin! You are too sweet

  • weeee April 19, 2011, 8:49 am

    I thought tomatoes were fruit!

    And i took the job to look for the source and it says Bison is rated higher than tofu! (39 vs 37)

    • Caitlin April 19, 2011, 10:23 am

      Whoops my fault. I hadn’t had coffee yet. Corrected! Thanks.

  • weeee April 19, 2011, 8:53 am

    I also think it’s all relative; you couldnt survive on just collard greens, strawberries and radishes. It’s all about balance and the more variety you add into your diet (even if variety means eating food not ranked in the top 10 by ANDI) the better

  • kalli@fitandfortysomething April 19, 2011, 8:53 am

    good luck at the DMV! this scale kinda reminds me of NuVa scale……

  • Anna @ Doing Good & Living Well April 19, 2011, 8:53 am

    That bagel looks DELISH!

    I love how Whole Foods lists the ANDI scores on the salad bar too. It’s nice to know at a glance where things stand.

  • Ali @ Ali Runs April 19, 2011, 8:55 am

    I love your new picture on the side! 🙂 Good luck at the DMV–it really is the worst place ever.

  • Evan Thomas April 19, 2011, 9:01 am

    I’m a little surprised and sad chickpeas are the lowest beans, since they’re pretty much all I eat. But I guess the fact that they’re scored and most foods aren’t means they’re a good choice to begin with.

  • Miranda @ working mom works out April 19, 2011, 9:11 am

    Yay for Lentils!!! My fave! Luck!

  • Carlee April 19, 2011, 9:12 am

    THAT banana’s color and everything looks perfect! Especially in the close up!My two favorites, bananas and garbanzo beans are on the bottom! wahhh! oh well, no matter what it is if its whole foods its good for you! and apples and garbanzo beans are still incredibly healthy and nutritious!

  • Parita @ myinnershakti April 19, 2011, 9:15 am

    This is great information! I am a little surprised that things like apples, kiwis, and black beans didn’t rank higher. I always see them on superfood lists. Thanks for sharing!

    • Caitlin April 19, 2011, 10:21 am

      I guess it depends on what factors you’re favoring, ya know?

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) April 19, 2011, 9:18 am

    I always find ratings for food interesting. I always wonder how you decide which is better? I guess it’s just another way to look at your food and the nutrients. Have fun at the DMV…I hate that place!

  • chloe@ 321delish April 19, 2011, 9:19 am

    that bagelwich looks awesome! I always forget how great beans are for you….and cheap!

    I have been wanting to try to make a bean burger…

  • Chase @ The Chase Project April 19, 2011, 9:24 am

    I thought butternut squash packed a better punch than it gets credit for! But this is definitely an interesting way of looking at foods!

  • Tara @ trulysimplebits April 19, 2011, 9:49 am

    Thanks for sharing that info!

    AH DMV I am on my way there too… yuck. I have been living in California for 1 year and still don’t have a driver’s license here. Worst part – I moved here from Canada so I have to do the whole written and practical test all over again. I’ve been driving for 13 years. That’s why I’ve put it off for a whole year. Gotta bite the bullet sometime though. Good luck to you 😉

    • Caitlin April 19, 2011, 10:19 am

      Ugh girl I hope your appointment went better than mine!

  • Lucy @ The Sweet Touch April 19, 2011, 9:57 am

    Ewwww, just the thought of the DMV makes me cringe, good luck!!

    I love bagel sandwiches – ‘specially eggy ones! YUM!

  • Freya April 19, 2011, 9:58 am

    Bananas and parsnips – my staple fruit/veg – are not there!! That surprises me 🙁
    And annoyingly – chickpeas are right down, but are my favourite bean…and I’m sad apples are low down too. I love them! The first veg I like on the list is carrot…oh dear.

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me April 19, 2011, 9:58 am

    hmmm this was pretty interesting.

    I wish my fiance liked beans!!! He hates them so.

  • Melissa @ Be Not Simply Good April 19, 2011, 9:59 am

    Interesting. I don’t think this will discourage me from eating asparagus and broccoli, my all time fave veggies, which aren’t in the top 10. It’s another interesting piece of info, though.

  • Stephanie April 19, 2011, 10:16 am

    This is very interesting. I am a little sad that Garbanzos are so low compared to other beans. They are my favorite! 🙁

    • Caitlin April 19, 2011, 10:18 am

      Well they are still in the top 10!

      • Stephanie April 19, 2011, 10:28 am

        Positivity! 🙂

  • Natalia - a side of simple April 19, 2011, 10:17 am

    Good luck at the DMV! I hope you bring snacks 🙂 I’ve never gone there without some snacks and magazines to pass through the boredom, but I’ve luckily only ever been there for max a half hour. Sending those vibes your way!!

  • Maren April 19, 2011, 10:17 am

    Very interesting!! You’re right, it’s nice to see something scored differently!! Good luck at the DMV! I had to go last week and it was pretty painless!

  • Shelly @ April 19, 2011, 10:22 am

    Like a few others, I was bummed to see chickpeas so low – but Top 10 is still worth eating! Gotta remember that 🙂 Nutrient density FTW!

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table April 19, 2011, 10:23 am

    Very neat – I always see the signs in WF, but never slowdown enough to read. I’d heard about strawberries before, but I’m surprised about the plum!

  • Sarah for Real April 19, 2011, 10:28 am

    I think the ANDI might be made with good intentions, but it claims to rank things on “nutrient” density and fails to do that.

    All of the dairy products are non-fat or low-fat. Fat is a nutrient!!!! DUH!

    Sorry, I’m really passionate about whole milk dairy. Well, that doesn’t sound weird, haha.

  • poptartyogini April 19, 2011, 10:30 am

    i think lists like ANDI scores can be dangerous. it may cause people to avoid foods that aren’t that list, getting away from the ‘all food is good food’ frame of mind. i feel intuitive eating is a safer way to go.

  • Amber K April 19, 2011, 10:31 am

    Interesting info, but I’m not really going to plan my meals around it.

  • FoodCents April 19, 2011, 10:37 am

    Hmmmmmmm, always interesting to see these sort of lists. I do like the point that DadHTP made, regarding this system & Whole Foods.

    I have not checked out the site, so perhaps this is answered there, but I am always curious as to why. I feel that it’s great to show people “lists” but the real importance is why does one thing rank higher. What kind of formula is used? What are possible special interests that could skew the “results” and such?

    Enjoy th DMV 🙂 Sometimes I like to play “DMV Bingo”, much like “Walmart Bingo” to pass time 🙂

  • Ashley @ the fit academic April 19, 2011, 10:41 am

    Wow, how cool – I’ve never heard of this before!

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In April 19, 2011, 10:49 am

    The ANDI scores have always thrown me off becuase of how broad the scale is. Where as NUVAL is 1 to 100, Andi can give some very healthy foods a score in the 300 or 400s, making it seem bad on an 1000 point scale!

  • Stacy April 19, 2011, 11:07 am

    Very interesting! I like seeing those scores and knowing that the top ten beans are at least double the top 10 meats.

  • Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty April 19, 2011, 11:14 am

    I found a website similar to this
    I found it very interesting and I was surprised by some things too!

  • Jen April 19, 2011, 11:18 am

    Radishes really surprised me. I had no idea they were so nutrient-dense. I was also surprised that plums were higher than blueberries, and that cherries were not higher on the list! I guess that deep, red juice doesn’t necessarily mean they pack as big of a punch as a cantaloupe. Who knew?! The greens list didn’t surprise me much, although I would have thought that swiss chard might be a little bit higher. These lists are great. I’ll take nutrient facts over calorie facts any day!

  • Jamie@everydaydolce April 19, 2011, 11:55 am

    I like the concept of this, just not sure if I agree that this should be something to use as a dietary guide. I think I agree with some of the other commenters in that way. However, it is a great resource for a country that, at least at large, does not consume enough whole foods and veggies! Thanks for sharing.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 19, 2011, 12:07 pm

    This is kind of neat! It’s so much better to rank foods according to their nutrient densities than their calories. Of course, I don’t think I’d ever let this influence my food choices. I prefer blueberries over strawberries, even if they are ranked lower! 😛

  • Kacy April 19, 2011, 12:10 pm

    Very cool! I was surprised garbz were so low. But I guess they’re still high if they’re on the list at all.

  • McKella April 19, 2011, 12:27 pm

    It’s weird that nutritious foods are so widely scatterered across the spectrum, from low hundreds to one thousand!

  • Katherine: Unemployed April 19, 2011, 2:10 pm

    omg it’s going to make me more paranoid

  • kyndra April 19, 2011, 2:15 pm

    radish, the highest non-green veg? who knew?? makes me doubly happy that i just planted a couple rows of them in my garden this weekend.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife April 19, 2011, 2:30 pm

    It is ALL about the nutrients and powh-a in food, I totally agree 🙂 Love that my beloved strabs and blackberries are on the top!!!

  • erica April 19, 2011, 4:42 pm

    i’m actually a little shocked about bean sprouts! i would never have thought they packed such a nutritional punch!

    gosh, i need to go to the DMV to renew my license soon…i’m dreading it.

  • Abby April 19, 2011, 4:56 pm

    This is really interesting! I don’t know if it will change my choices at all though. I love my produce! 🙂

  • D April 19, 2011, 4:57 pm

    I think this is super interesting, but I think it misses one of the key facts about ‘nutrition’…one single food is only as nutritious as all the others you combine it with! Sure, one particular veggie might have more phytochemicals and vitamins and whatever, but nature is designed to provide us with everything we need as long as we eat as wide a variety of food as possible. Say you picked one fruit to eat for the rest of your life….you wouldn’t be healthier choosing strawberries over apples, because you need both to be optimally healthy. A certain fruit or veggie can have more of something, but it can’t have everything. Plus, fruits and vegetables (and seeds, grains, etc) are designed to interact with each other so you get the benefits you can’t get piece by piece. Did you ever finish reading The China Study? That was definitely one of the main points I learned from it – that it’s not just about ‘getting a variety’ for the sake of variety, its about how nature is designed that way!

    • Caitlin April 19, 2011, 6:48 pm

      I could NOT get through TCS, D! It was torturous and boring. However, I am posting reviews from other readers tomorrow!

  • Jenn April 19, 2011, 7:11 pm

    I think it’s just another way to distract us from being in-tuned to what we like and what are body craves and needs more of. I think lists can create a sense of security and guidance, but takes focus off us learning to trust and know our bodies.

  • Krista @ Journey to a Healthy Berg April 19, 2011, 7:15 pm

    This is really interesting! I’m sad (and surprised) that bananas didn’t make the top rankings 🙁

  • Katie @ peacebeme April 19, 2011, 9:21 pm

    This was a really cool post. I had to wonder, though, why so many rankings are different than other ones I have seen. I am thinking that maybe the different entities use different ranking systems. Who really cares I guess, all of these things are good for you! 😉

  • kate April 19, 2011, 9:43 pm

    is that an everything bagel thin? mmm mmm good. haven’t seen those, but must look harder.

    • Caitlin April 19, 2011, 10:15 pm

      YES! so good! i highly recommend.

  • Lauren @ Team Giles April 19, 2011, 11:27 pm

    First time hearing about ANDI scores. I’m off to check them out! Thanks for posting about it.

  • Lisa August 13, 2011, 5:37 pm

    Just want to share this info that is the highest scoring foods have the fewest calories and virtually no fat. For the over weight person like myself, it is become more easy fo me to make the decision to buy and stock up food in my kitchen because I really want to lose the love handle fast.
    I do not want to take high blood pill for the rest of my life, for,I want to have my health back.

    • Caitlin August 13, 2011, 6:19 pm

      <3 You can do it!

  • Mike Baumuller July 19, 2012, 2:46 pm

    The reason fruits are so low on the ANDI list is because of the sugar content. Blueberries however do have the antioxidants to help prevent some kind of cancers. As far as veggies they are the best for nutrients in your body. A mix of both is great but the best way to do it daily is 66% veggie and 33% fruit.

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