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Energy Score

The Energy score contains to values to show two important aspects of energy: Energy distribution and Estimated Energy Requirements.

The energy distribution score measures if the distribution on the food energy is between the ranges given by the Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (2002).

The energy distribution ranges are the following:

  • Fats: 20-35%, where
    • omega 3: 0.6-1.2%
    • omega 6: 5-10%
  • Carbohydrates: 45-65%
  • Proteins: 10-35%

To obtain this score, we first calculate how much energy provide each group of macronutrients. Once this done we start with a 100 value score and substract one point for every 1% of any group outside the recommended ranges. For example considering human milk, it has 1gr. of protein, 6,9gr. of sugars and 4,38gr. of lipids. If we calculate the energy of each group, taking into account that carbohydrates and proteins contain 4kcal per gram and lipids do have 9 kcal per gram:

  • Proteins: 1,1gr*4kcal/gr. = 4,4 kcal
  • Sugars: 6,9gr * 4kcal/gr = 27,6 kcal
  • Fats: 4,38gr. * 9kcal/gr = 39,42 kcal

This gives us a total of 71,42 kcal, so we can now calculate the percentages of every group and check if they're in the ranges or not:

  • Proteins: 4,4 / 71,4 = 6%, this value is 4 points under the lower limit for protein so score is now 100 - 4 = 96.
  • Sugars: 27,6 / 71,4 = 38,6%, this value is also under de lower limit for carbohydrates, current score is 96 - (45-38) = 96 - 7 = 89.
  • Lipids: 39,4 / 71,4 = 55%, this value is 20 points over the upper limit, so final value is 89 - 20 = 69 points.

I don't consider EFA recommendations by now, maybe in the future.

The second value describes how close this food is to the total per day Estimated Energy Requirements (EER) for a non-pregnant adult woman. To fit the 0-100 range this value is obtained calculating the % of energy represented by the food energy. Any value over 100% will be substracted from 100 because in the case of energy, exceeding the limit is as bad as not reaching it, if not worse.

Scores can't be negative, so if the total energy is twice the EER, the energy DRI score will be converted to 0.

The current estimated energy requirements per day for an adult active non-pregnant woman with a BMI of 25 is 2477 kcal, so a food with 1500 kcal will have a score of (1500/2100)*100= 60,5. On the other hand, a food with 3000 kcal will have a score of (3000/2100)*100=121,11 => 100 - 21,11 = 78,89.
Any food with twice the EER or more calories will have a Energy DRI score of 0.

The relation between calories and the Energy DRI score can be represented graphically and it would be like this:
Energy score graphical representation

Note:For single food this score will always be under 36 points because the food with highest energy has 902 kcal per 100gr and thus it will have an score of 36. This score will be more useful when applied to a total daily energy when we add recipes and menus to the database.

Top ten recipes with highest score in Distribución energética
Raspberry juice100
raspberry grapefruit & lemon juice100
Rice with dried apricots & raisins100
Cream of Butternut Squash and Cranberry Soup100
Sweet spiced coffee100
Traditional Baked Beans100
Crema inglesa98.9
Dried figs pastries98.7
Apple, blackberry, celery & ginger juice with lineseed oil96.9
Micheles Favorite Tomato Sauce96.9
Top ten recipes with highest score in Ingesta diaria recomenada de energía
Traditional Baked Beans95.2
Penne with walnut sauce56.9
Chutney tradicional47.3
Langosta Paella34.8
Traditional Alfredo Sauce34.6
Potato with onion frittata34.3
macarroni with chorizo and hot tomato sauce33.6
pesto sauce33.2
Apple & pear crumble32.5
pear & blue cheese salad32.2