Nutrient density per calorie is the magic formula. High nutrient density, high ANDI scores.
A good video on the topic of plant-based nutrition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ8dkLYWrw0
The "magic formula" is the problem. There are many approaches to nutrient density scoring and ANDI is among those horribly flawed. Why? I'll defer to someone credible:
> According to the explanation of this ranking system posted on Fuhrman’s web site, he also excludes a number of other important nutrients. The B vitamins biotin and pantothenic acid, preformed vitamin A, and vitamins K1 and K2 are among those absent. Major minerals such as sodium, chloride, potassium, sulfur, and phosphorus are excluded. Essential trace minerals such as copper, manganese, boron, molybdenum, and chromium are nowhere to be found in Fuhrman’s list. Essential fatty acids like EPA, DHA and arachidonic acid are likewise absent. Finally, none of the eight essential amino acids is included in his ranking system. - Chris Masterjohn, PhD Nutritional Sciences 
A bit suspect to exclude essential nutrients from a nutrient score. He also doubles the ORAC (antioxidant) importance, when including ORAC at all is very controversial. Please read  for the rest.
A more objective formula  will always include organ meats, like liver, at the top. A serving of liver is practically a multi-vitamin and if consumed daily will cause an overdose of vitamin A very quickly.
It got to the point that I hated the food so much that I simply skipped meals when I prepared food and threw away anything my wife made. I remember crying-- and Im not kidding-- at work over some soggy lettuce wrapped bullshit that, I just couldn't stand anymore. I didn't cry when I snapped my ankle in half or when my grandparents passed. I didn't cry when my wife left me or my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer... but Furhman's diet-- wore me down to nothing.
It's a one size fits all solution, with no allowances for individual tastes or nutritional needs. Ultimately the advice is driven by an ideology rather than science. Small changes to the diet would make the food vastly more palatable (namely more oils) and not comprise its integrity... but ideology is inflexible.
Basically chicken liver was IT, just a few hundred gramms per day and nearly all requirements are fulfilled. When I've disabled liver, then came some diets much harder to realize: with elements such as 4 kg of oranges a day :)
When wild animals kill prey they eat the organs first, then move on to the less nutritious muscle meat.
Especially when killing bigger prey, some organs were consumed by the hunters on the spot to compensate for calories lost hunting(liver/brains/heart?) and the rest of the meat was brought back to the tribe.
I find it a useful guide for plants since it ranks leafy greens and vegetables above fruits (most people who go plant-based are prone to over-eat fruits, under-eat veges, because sweet is preferred to bitter).
You point out there are many other options -- like organ meats -- which have robust nutrient profiles but do not score high on ANDI.
A lot of that list/document seem good, a lot of it is pseudo-science, which makes me think that I should take the rest with a pinch of salt (pun intended).
Juicing is typically the easiest way to remove all the good stuff from fruits and vegetable (fibers) and only keep 1. the stuff you need in very small amount (minerals, vitamin, ...) 2. the sugar.
"Acid forming": see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkaline_diet
The whole thing reads more like some new-age "cleansing" diet and has no place here imho.
I think there may be some substance to this, but in general, it's save just to eat a variety of wholesome foods. It's tougher for most Americans to realise this since they're crunched for time, looking for shortcuts, and advertisers are always pushing a new diet or wonderfood every year.
>Chloride load leads to hyperchloraemic acidosis
I'm experimenting seasoning my food with a mixture of sea-salt and potassium gluconate powder for that reason.
> 10 portions of fruit and veg a day
You're comparing fruit to vegetables here. Vegetables contain much more flavenoids and micronutrients than fruits (unless you include berries). It's good to replace unhealthy food with a fruit, but health authorities should be wary of allowing fruit consumption to dominate over vegetable consumption (which it mostly certainly will).
I'm not pedantic enough to post everything I have wrong with this, but nutritional authorities need to get with the times.
Being health-conscious is great, but do not just eat "10 servings of fruit or vegetables" a day. Use a nutrient tracker and make sure you're getting what your body needs, and if needed, supplement everything else.
If you live in a seasonal climate, try to eat in tune with the seasons.
Subscribe to a farmers co-op or some sort of delivery of a weekly box of whatever produce is being harvested now at a nearby farm. This is when I've had the best success eating lots of vegetables. Especially good value are "ugly" produce boxes of "reject" vegetables that won't make it to supermarkets due to insignificant cosmetic marks. Not a complete solution, as you may end up with too many of a vegetable you don't like / need. Less thinking and decision making is better, and I know I'm getting the fresh stuff, and I will be determined to just use whatever I have since I paid for it.
If you have good cooking skills, and maintain "momentum" in cooking often, you will be able to just open your fridge and figure out what to cook based on what you have and how you feel. I find this better and more enjoyable than trying to plan out meals in advance. I find fresh vegetables inspiring. Moreso outside of winter of course.
Blendtec or Vitamix grade blender: you can throw pretty much anything in these and it will blend with minimal water added. Allows you to consume a huge amount of vegetables and fruits.
Soups: soups are so easy to make. Chop whatever you have, add a bit of chicken broth, water, turmeric, chicken drumsticks (optional), salt, pepper and whatever else you want. Usually you'll at least want carrots, celery, ginger, onion and mushroom. Bring to a boil then leave on low for a couple of hours.
Most vegetables freeze well, and frozen vegetables are often more nutritious than fresh because they're picked in peak condition instead of early for extra shelf life. They're usually cheaper than fresh too. With the exception of vegetables like onions that don't need refrigerating I mostly eat frozen vegetables.
As soon as you blend it you can only count it as one of your five a day. And you should limit yourself to less than 150 ml of blended fruit per day.
And the reasoning in the article you cited doesn't really make sense to me. If you keep the pulp and fiber in a smoothie without adding juices or sugar, how is that different from eating whole fruit?
The article says that blending fruit "releases the sugars", which makes no sense. How is that different from chewing? Wouldn't chewing also remove sugars?
> If you keep the pulp and fiber in a smoothie without adding juices or sugar, how is that different from eating whole fruit?
It's much much easier to drink 6 oranges that have been blended than it is to eat six oranges.
This mainly applies to fruit, if I'm reading things correctly. If you puree kale and cucumbers, there shouldn't be much downside to drinking that as long as you don't add anything - there's little sugar in those vegetables as it is, so overconsumption won't be that awful for you.
Glycemic load seems to be the key. Otherwise, nothing wrong with eating vs blending.
I live in a tropical area, and especially love that I can buy tons of leafy Asian greens and beans at the farmers markets for a couple of dollars each, that none of our local supermarkets even carry in their fruit & veg section.
Alternatively, since you mention this above, one can use a Blendtec or Vitamix grade blender to friction-heat the liquid.
Apparently this is more energy efficient than microwaving for instance:
Obviously this won't work for soups where one desires very coarse pieces of vegetables; nonetheless I often find the above useful.
> Small-sized fresh fruit
> One portion is two or more small fruit, for example two plums, two satsumas, two kiwi fruit, three apricots, six lychees, seven strawberries or 14 cherries.
> Medium-sized fresh fruit
> One portion is one piece of fruit, such as one apple, banana, pear, orange or nectarine.
> Large fresh fruit
> One portion is half a grapefruit, one slice of papaya, one slice of melon (5cm slice), one large slice of pineapple or two slices of mango (5cm slices).
Note that this is for fresh fruit, and definitely not juices or smoothies.
> Unsweetened 100% fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies can only ever count as a maximum of one portion of your 5 A DAY.
> For example, if you have two glasses of fruit juice and a smoothie in one day, that still only counts as one portion.
A rough rule of thumb: one portion is what fits in a cupped hand.
That said, 10 portions seems like moderation to me, assuming good dental hygiene.
Edit: Oh, and if you're eating that kind of thing, it helps not to eat too much high-salt, high-sugar foods along with them. It's like... trying to look for a rainbow under a floodlight.
it's the form of sugar that matters.
the sticky (think twinkie) sugar does more damage because it sticks to cavities, fueling bacteria producing acid.
the stickiest, the sweetest fruit i can think of is fried dates. banana comes close.
but fruits don't even compare to twinkie, so don't worry too much about it. chewing fibrous non-sweet veg should be enough to 'brush' teeth naturally. of course brushing your teeth won't hurt
Check out Miswak, it's an alternative to the toothbrush + toothpaste combo.
Hey wow that looks pretty cool, I tried some Indian neem toothpaste before which wasn't bad, but I've never heard of this and am curious to try. Should be a fun shopping mission in Soi Arab on my next trip to Bangkok...
My dentist can't believe how healthy my gums are. The single best thing you can do for oral hygiene, however you go about it, is to clear food out of teeth as soon as possible. Miswak really makes that possible and practical.
Two broccoli spears would be one portion.
I don't want 10 of those with dinner, do you?
That would be fucking stupid.
What on earth makes you think that's what's being suggested?
All the 5 a day / 10 a day guidance is very very clear: eat a wide range of different things.
Yes, and I'm sorry that you've seemingly come to expect that level of stupidity from others, but in my world that moment is a cue to re-read the context.
I'm saying it isn't hard to eat 10 servings a day, what's hard (and by implication what people who think it's hard are often doing in some form) is cramming their servings in at the end of the day, and from one source. I was marveling at how that would throw anyone off.
For lunch throw in some cucumber, tomatoes, carrot and peppers and you get a gazpacho (Google for more detailed recipe).
No need to do much chopping, just throw the stuff in and let machine do the work.
More info: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/23/science/q-a-finer-fiber.ht...
Modern fruit and veg are intelligently designed and optimised for calories and aesthetic appeal. Not nutrition. They have little in common with original rootstock. What you know as an table apple is a single mutation that has been diversified over time. Original apples are only good for making booze.
The healthiest food is green leaved veg. Baby spinach and the like. I build massive salads with these as base and add whatever to that. Very digestible, no need to blend and while it will never be a pizza, it's not bad at all.
> 5 A DAY in juices and smoothies
> Smoothies include any drink made up of any combination of fruit/vegetable juice, puree or all the edible pulped fruit or vegetable.
> Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day – which is a small glass.
> For example, if you have 150ml of orange juice and 150ml smoothie in one day, you'll have exceeded the recommendation by 150ml.
> When fruit is blended or juiced, it releases the sugars which increases the risk of tooth decay so it's best to drink fruit juice or smoothies at mealtimes.
> Whole fruits are less likely to cause tooth decay because the sugars are contained within the structure of the fruit.
The only explanation I can think of would be that the blending process somehow alters to structure to be less favourable. NHS page mentioned the sugars getting released (but does not provide citation). Previous comment mentioned the fibres getting smashed (which I found a bit suspicious). Would like to know if there's some research behind this.
And the veggie smoothies, I've really come to enjoy things like edamame, hummus, and spicy peppers (I wasnt sure if you meant sweet or spicy peppers).
I also track many of my smoothies in my app (ends up being like git for recipes in this use case): https://www.ibgib.com/ibgib/Smoothies%5E45176571367461146179... (currently home page is a hack to ensure reading the notice...redirected to actual link after "session login" at the bottom).
Edit: Btw Im down from 212lb five or six years ago to 153lb, and i came to the same strats as the first four mentioned in this article.
I tried googling "Annual premature deaths" to get an idea of how many people die prematurely a year, but it doesn't look like it is a figure that is worked with. The closest I found was that WHO apparently considers the 7 million people who die annually of pollution to be 1/8th of total annual death.
So apparently 12.5% of deaths can be avoided if we ate more fruit and vegetables.