Monday, August 18, 2008

Best Eating What's Good for You

Since at least the beginning of law school I've really wanted to eat better and follow the food pyramid more closely but I've just always been so awful at it. I just don't know what's good for me and what isn't, I'm always asking people I consider if NutraGrain bars are okay (they aren't)or if bacon is healthy (it must be) or what about shrimp, is shrimp good for me? And lately I feel like I've kind of been eating better just by not having that much fast food or soda...but I still realize that I have a high fat, high carb, high sodium, high sugar, low vitamin diet. But now in New York it's the law that chain restaurants have to post the calorie values of their food on their menus and that's really helped me make slightly wiser lunch and dinner decisions around's turned eating into a videogame where you try to get a nice,lowe score.

But this week I read about something really great in the National Geographic. These scientists at Yale have developed this new "Overall Nutrition Quality Index", a rating of how good foods are for you that's going to be in (some) grocery stores by all the foods. So in the near future maybe a grocery store near me might have it and I can go "Oh, look, spinach is a 100 food!" (100 is the best) or "Oh no! A fried egg is an 18 food!" (now what will I top my instant ramen with?)

The Overall Nutrition Quality Index people are being stingy with their IP, but they've posted some sample scores on their website and an even longer sample list is in this month's National Geographic. So I've got those two lists to work with for now. Did you know that nonfat milk and 1% milk are separated by only 10 points (91 and 81) while 2% milk is a 55?! That makes me feel okay about my love for 1%, I'll allow myself those 10 points.

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