The CDC provides a guideline for the top superfoods based upon their nutrient density, otherwise known as the “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index” or ANDI score. It’s only natural that we at Real Food Bar set out to pack in the most nutrient dense foods into each bar.
The ANDI score is a method of rating how rich on a scale of 1 – 1,000 an individual fruit or vegetable is in micronutrients (i.e. vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients per calorie consumed). These foods are ones that are most closely associated with reduced risk of chronic disease. Not surprisingly, kale and collard greens rank the highest in nutrients per calorie than any other food rated. Yeah, kale!
However, looking at the ANDI score of foods simply isn’t enough. Dr. Fuhrman, the author of Eat to Live and inventor of the ANDI ranking system, emphasizes that the ANDI score is simply a way to point you in the right direction. For example, if you only looked at the nutrient density of foods, you might be choosing foods that are too low in fat, likewise overloading on fiber and unable to meet a proper caloric load. All consult a physician on your individual nutrition needs.
How it Works
If you’ve ever wondered which veggies give you the most bang for your buck, the ANDI model is a great place to start (even Whole Foods uses it). The ANDI score is calculated by dividing the vitamin score by the number of calories. For something like watercress which is 95% water and only a few calories, the ANDI score is off the charts, but no nutritionists would recommend loading up on watercress alone. You’d starve to death because there’s no energy (calories) in it.
Real Food Bar’s Balanced Approach
Real Food Bar comes in at 230 calories – just enough to be a meal and nutrient dense enough to provide the health benefits of eating powerhouse fruits and vegetables.
Keeping it simple, there are only 9 unprocessed whole food ingredients in Real Food Bar. We call this the Real Food Base because it encompasses every major food group:
- Cashew Butter
- Organic Clover Honey
- Gluten Free Whole Rolled Oats
- Organic Vanilla Extract
- Pea protein
- Non-GMO soluble tapioca fiber
Real Food Matters
By eating whole foods, you’re extracting the most nutrients from each ingredient. That’s why Real Food Bar purposely sought to keep each ingredient from going through processing or refinement. While some granola bars simply care about labeling their product as “zero sugar” and low fat, they deceive consumers by masking taste with sugar alcohol which can cause digestive and metabolic issues. A little bit of sugar and healthy fats are safe in moderation.
Benefits of Healthy Fats & a Plant-Based Diet
In fact, healthy fats are all the rage right now. The trendy ketogenic diet touted by the Kardasians has debunked the myth of the link between saturated fats and the risk of heart disease. Eating the right types of saturated fats like that found in eggs or coconut oil creates medium-chain triglycerides which are great for fat loss and athletic performance. Eating the right type and ratio of saturated, monounsaturated and polunsaturated fats is important though. For example, most western diets contain an unhealthy level of essential fatty acids of up to 30:1 and deficient in omega-3s. The ideal ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s is 1:1. More on this in another blog post or here!
At Real Food Bar we chose a plant-based protein through pea powder as it contains all 9 essential amino acids. Researchers have found the protein quality of peas to be similar to that of eggs or soy. Numerous studies show that a plant-based diet provides the body with enough protein, quality carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Did you know that plant lovers or “flexitarians” live on average 3.6 years longer than their carnivorous friends?
High Quality Ingredients Matter
Real Food Bars were designed for health-conscious people on the go. For busy lifestyles trying the meet the demands of work, home and family-time and everything in between, we’ve packed HIGH quality ingredients into a bite-sized bar in under $3. If you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, can you really afford to substitute real food for unhealthy snack or candy bars?
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