FIT FOOD scales
Classifying food as generally "good" or "bad" is an oversimplification. FIT FOOD helps you to avoid this mistake.
Food has different components like protein, fiber, carbs, and fat. Therefore, the same food item may contribute to your healthy diet in one dimension and be a liability in another dimension. Additionally, some foods viewed with suspicion health-wise (like carbs or plant-based oil) are quite cost-effective nutrients with a low carbon footprint.
Therefore, the mix of foods is what is important for your health and the environment. To explore this FIT FOOD offers two views:
View 1: "per 100g"
This is the traditional view from food packages in many countries and what websites and calorie counters often provide.
View 2: "% per calorie"
This is more unusual, but as soon as you get used to it, you may want to see it on packages as well.
Bananas are bad. What, really? No, bananas are good! Actually, they are both (like most food). Here is the explanation:
Part 1: bananas are low on protein
Bananas have just one gram and a bit per 100 grams. 100 grams of banana provides 89 calories (=kCal). An average human on a 2,000 calorie diet should eat 62 grams of protein per day. This means on average 0.031 grams of protein per calorie. As the banana only has 0.012 grams the View 2 "% per calorie" shows just 39%.
Banana is not a good protein source.
Part 2: bananas are high on fiber
Bananas have 2.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams. In the 2,000 calorie diet, about 30 grams of fiber per day should be included, on average 0.015 grams of fiber per calorie. As the banana has 0.0292 grams the View 2 "% per calorie" shows 195%. Bananas rock!
Here are the calculations for PROTEIN, in case you are interested:
The target is calculated by dividing the protein target by the calorie target.
target = (protein target) / (calorie target)
= (62 g dialy) / (2,000 kCal daily)
= (62 / 2,000) (g per kCal)
= 0.031 (g per kCal)
The actual is calculated by dividing the protein content by the calories of the bananas.
actual = (actual protein) / (actual calories)
= (1.09 g/100g) / (89 kCal/100g)
= (1,09 / 89) (g per kCal)
= 0.012 (g per kCal)
The percentage is calculated by dividing the actual by the target
percentage = (actual) / (target)
= 0.012 / 0.031
All numbers are (rough) averages!
Targets are averages
People are different, and so are their needs. In the Wikipedia article linked above a protein target of 0.8g per day per kg of body mass is mentioned. Also, higher targets are listed, e.g. when exercising to gain strength. But as we use the same target across all food cards, the numbers will still give you a good relative view of which foods are rich in protein and which are low in it. By playing FIT FOOD you will get a good basic understanding of this, helping you to go into more detail as you learn more about food over time.
Below is an interesting publication by the World Health Organization (WHO) on determining the protein requirements. It is quite extensive. We add this link to give a hint on the complexity of food and to show which methods help to get a better grasp of the topic.
Actuals are averages
Food is mostly grown in nature, so, even things that are called the same ("bananas") may have varying chemical components. We take our figures from government databases, averaging across many products. FIT FOOD helps you to get a good overview but at the same time appreciate the complexity of the topic.
For further reading, here is a link to our list of sources.