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Old 06-21-2019, 02:02 AM   #1
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CDC study finds kale 15th on the list of most nutrient-dense foods

I've always been confused by the love kale has been given recently. If you look up the nutritional benefits of greens, each variety has something valuable that they can bring to the table. The CDC recently tested 47 vegetables and fruits to find out where they rank when tested for at least 17 different nutrients. #1? Watercress. The article below has a nice chart (color classified, too) that is easy to read, but if you want to see the CDC report it has a link embedded in the article.

The Top 41 Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables by Nutrient Density
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:29 AM   #2
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Interesting!

It looks like I need to toss the broccoli and replace it with spinach.

Also surprised to see red peppers so high on the list.

Usually, the healthiest fruits and vegetables for me are the ones that are on sale each week!
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Old 06-21-2019, 05:20 AM   #3
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It is interesting but I don't think it will change anything for me. At first, I thought about adding chard to the staples list but it is $2.99/lb and collard greens are 88˘/bunch, so probably not. Like Aunt Bea, I have to take price into account. I'm surprised iceberg lettuce made the list at all though.

Something to keep in mind, this list ranks nutrients per 100 calories which is fine as long as you realize that it compares less than 1 cup of sweet potato to 27 cups, near two gallons, of watercress. My corner Kroger doesn't sell it but if it did, imagine it would be in a little bunch, not a wheelbarrow load.
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Old 06-21-2019, 05:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
Interesting!

It looks like I need to toss the broccoli and replace it with spinach.
I like'em both.

Also surprised to see red peppers so high on the list.
Yay!

Usually, the healthiest fruits and vegetables for me are the ones that are on sale each week! :lol:

Absolutely!
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:01 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by skilletlicker View Post
It is interesting but I don't think it will change anything for me. At first, I thought about adding chard to the staples list but it is $2.99/lb and collard greens are 88˘/bunch, so probably not. Like Aunt Bea, I have to take price into account. I'm surprised iceberg lettuce made the list at all though.

Something to keep in mind, this list ranks nutrients per 100 calories which is fine as long as you realize that it compares less than 1 cup of sweet potato to 27 cups, near two gallons, of watercress. My corner Kroger doesn't sell it but if it did, imagine it would be in a little bunch, not a wheelbarrow load.
I remember reading this back when it was first published, and I was surprised at some of the veggies that were way up on the list, or, as you noted, that iceberg lettuce made the list at all, and that leaf and romaine lettuces were way up near the top! But then I saw that this list wasn't based on average serving sizes, but on the amount in 100 calories! Charts with nutrients in average serving sizes are more useful, IMO, even though I eat larger serving sizes with all those greens.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:03 AM   #6
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We have been trying to get more greens in our food lately.


As a practical matter, of the foods we usually eat, I did a comparison of 1 cup of 'greens' (all of which are considered greens though not actually green). (for instance red cabbage is considered a green) I used the free app chronometer to get calorie and nutrition data.



For comparison:
1 cup of cooked:
cauliflower calories 29
cabbage 34 calories
kale 36 calories
beet greens 39 calories

asparagus 39 calories
broccoli 54 calories


Now calories aren't that important compared to the nutrition these all bring to the table. And if I ate 6 cups of these greens I'd only get 233 calories, so you can see, they won't add much to your diet. In 6 cups of greens you almost meet the minimum recommended amount of fiber of 25 g (for women.)



In fact, I tried to eat lots of greens, and I found that they filled me up and crowded out a lot of other less nutrient rich foods, and I was at a big calorie deficit. Then, my skin turned green. Yeah, kidding. My limit right now is 3 cups of greens a day, I can't seem to find a way to eat more.



I just cooked up 2 bunches of kale, 99 cents a bunch, full 4 qt kettle, and it melts down to 3 cups at best.
Nutritionally, calorie wise, I can eat these to my hearts content.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:54 AM   #7
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I just spent some time having a really good look at that study mentioned in the linked page. There's a link to the study there: https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/13_0390.htm

These are not necessarily the top foods for nutrient density. They are the top 41 foods out of 47 fruits and vegetables tested. The density is nutrients per 100 kcal. Nutrient density could be measured in nutrients per 100 grams. It could be measured in nutrients per dollar.

The purpose of this study was to come up with a classification scheme for "powerhouse fruits and vegetables" based on nutrient and phytochemical constituents.

"This article describes a classification scheme defining PFV on the basis of 17 nutrients of public health importance per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Institute of Medicine (ie, potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K)"

There are loads of foods and nutrients that were not in this study.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:06 PM   #8
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Where are my onions?!?!?!

PS - I hate kale.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
I just spent some time having a really good look at that study mentioned in the linked page. There's a link to the study there: https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/13_0390.htm

These are not necessarily the top foods for nutrient density. They are the top 41 foods out of 47 fruits and vegetables tested. The density is nutrients per 100 kcal. Nutrient density could be measured in nutrients per 100 grams. It could be measured in nutrients per dollar.

The purpose of this study was to come up with a classification scheme for "powerhouse fruits and vegetables" based on nutrient and phytochemical constituents.

"This article describes a classification scheme defining PFV on the basis of 17 nutrients of public health importance per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Institute of Medicine (ie, potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K)"

There are loads of foods and nutrients that were not in this study.
Was surprised to not see avocado.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
I remember reading this back when it was first published, and I was surprised at some of the veggies that were way up on the list, or, as you noted, that iceberg lettuce made the list at all, and that leaf and romaine lettuces were way up near the top! But then I saw that this list wasn't based on average serving sizes, but on the amount in 100 calories! Charts with nutrients in average serving sizes are more useful, IMO, even though I eat larger serving sizes with all those greens.
It seems like the ratings at 100 calories should scale by portion size. You can see from the ratings that Kale is 15th, relevant to Watercress at the top of the list. Cut the standard to 50 calories, and these foods should come out the same, relevant to each other.

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