What are ZOE food quality scores?
What is the ZOE food quality score and how to use it
Kirstin avatar
Written by Kirstin
Updated over a week ago

The ZOE food quality score represents our personalized prediction of the impact a food will have on your health and wellbeing.

Calories are not created equal

It makes sense that you should eat an orange instead of a donut. But even when they have the same amount of calories – it’s the ‘quality’ that really matters.

Quality foods help you develop a healthy gut, manage blood sugar control and clear blood fat effectively. The ZOE app will help you find quality foods for your body.

Our scores do the hard work for you

We’ve scored millions of foods for you including all the whole foods you can imagine as well as thousands of recipes and branded products. You can also use the app to combine foods together and get meal scores.

It is important to eat a diverse range of high scoring foods to achieve a healthy diet.

This may help you:

  • Lose weight sustainably

  • Optimize your metabolism and your gut health

  • Reduce long term health risks like heart disease and diabetes

  • Reduce inflammation and metabolic stress

  • Keep you feeling fuller for longer and reduce cravings

How to use your scores

We split your scores into 4 colour-coded ranges to guide you on how much and how frequently you should eat them.

75-100% - Enjoy freely (Your super green foods)

These foods are predicted to be the best for your metabolism and gut. You can have these frequently (everyday) and in significant quantities.

50-75% - Enjoy regularly

You can eat these foods regularly (every other day). However, large quantities may have a negative impact.

25-50% - Enjoy in moderation

There are healthier swaps for these foods but having them from time to time (2-3 times per week) in normal quantities is fine.

0 - 25% - Once in a while

There are no foods you can never eat. It’s ok to eat these items but you should have them rarely or in small quantities.

The science behind your personalized food scores.

The ZOE food quality score represents our personalized prediction of the impact a food will have on your health and wellbeing.

We predict what will happen to your blood sugar and to your blood fat in the hours after you eat the food. In addition we calculate the long-term impact on your gut health and your overall health.

Your scores are built on science which has compared you with thousands of people (different age, ethnicity, sex, health, etc) in the largest nutritional research study in the world open to the public, with scientists from Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Stanford University and King’s College London.

This ground-breaking research allows us to predict how you will respond to food, including items you’ve never tried, helping you find the best food for your body.

Important things to know

1. Our science shows that we all respond to food differently

Let’s look at an example. Haya and George (ZOE’s co-founder) have very different blood sugar responses to bananas. So they have different scores.

Our researched looked at millions of readings like this from over 2,100 participants. We use this blood sugar data, alongside your blood fat control and gut health to generate your unique food scores.

So your scores can vary significantly from your friends

Something as common as a banana can have very different scores for different people. Ranging from 24 to 54 – it can be an occasional treat for some while a regular food for others.

2. You can improve your score for a food by adjusting quantities or by combining it with other food.

Let’s take a peek inside the magic of combining foods.

Take a simple sandwich. There are many ways you could cut this. When we score these different sandwich combos for you we get very different scores.

The combination of fats to carbs, as well as their quality and quantity, all contribute to the score.

3. Your scores are sensitive to brand and quantity

You can use the ZOE app to find scores for your specific item by scanning the barcode or searching. You may find surprising score variation across different brands.

Adjusting the quantity of your serving is also a great way to improve your score.

Please note:

Items with this 'verified' symbol have verified nutritional information and are more reliable.

We’re always improving our database and your scores may change.

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