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Do You Know Nutrition: Chart lists most nutrient-rich foods

By By Phylis Canion
Aug. 27, 2013 at 3:27 a.m.

Phylis Canion

Is there such a thing as a nutrient chart - a chart that states what foods have the highest nutrients as well as foods with the lowest nutrient rating? I thought I caught a glimpse of it on TV but have not been able to find one. Thanks for your help.

The nutrient concentration chart that I would recommend is one devised by Dr. Michael Cutler, as opposed to one from a food manufacturer that will alter a chart to better suit their product.

These foods are listed from the highest concentration of nutrients down to the lowest, beginning at 100.

One hundred is raw, leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, parsley, collards and Swiss chard). Ninety-five is green vegetables like artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumber, peas and green beans.

Eighty is non-green, non-starchy vegetables including beets, mushrooms, onions, garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, water chestnuts and cauliflower.

Sixty is beans and other legumes including kidney, navy, lima and black-eyed peas. Fifty is fresh fruits; thirty-five is starchy vegetables: white and red potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, turnips, corn and carrots.

Thirty is whole grains including barley, buckwheat, millet, oats, brown rice, wild grain, quinoa and wheat.

Twenty-five is raw nuts. Twenty is fish; 18 is unpasteurized fresh dairy and fermented cheeses. Fifteen is eggs and wild meat. Ten is fat-free dairy. Eight is red meat. Five is full fat dairy. Three is processed cheeses. Two is refined white flour. One is refined oils, and zero is refined sugars.

As a footnote, items listed under a score of 18 are nutrient devoid, high in empty calories and the very foods that metabolize into acid byproducts that encourage cancer growth.

I am a real sugar lover but am now realizing I consume too much, and I think it can be addicting. I always notice that magazine covers always list a "number" of reasons to quit something or a number of reasons to lose weight and so on. So I am asking you to give me 10 reasons to stop eating sugar.

I am happy to give you 10 reasons to stop eating sugar and can give you 100 more if you would like.•  Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.

•  Sugar reduces high-density lipoproteins.

•  Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.

•  Sugar raise the level of neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.

•  Sugar is enemy No. 1 of the bowel movement.

•  Diets high in sugar can cause free radicals and oxidative stress.

•  Sugar feeds cancer.

•  Sugar slows food's travel time through the gastrointestinal tract.

•  Sugar is an addictive substance.

•  The body changes sugar into two to five times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.

Thought for the week: Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.

Next cooking class at The Cooking Depot in Cuero is 5:30 p.m. Sept. 4, and the next free nutrition class is Sept. 9 at Organic Emporium beginning at 7 p.m.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant. Email her at doc.phyl@yahoo.com. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.

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