Diet Risk Score Calculator

By Emily Johnston, PhD and Łucja Zaborowska, MD
Last updated: Aug 18, 2021

Wondering how healthy your diet is? Are you looking for a quick way to verify it? Fortunately, you've found the diet risk score calculator! 🥦

Our tool quickly computes the mortality risk connected to your food habits and gives the result as the points you scored in each of the 9 categories. The final score correlates with your risk of suffering from the following diseases:

Other habits can cause you to be more at risk as well, so you should speak with your doctor about your overall risk if you are concerned.

How to use the diet risk score calculator?

Our diet risk tool requires exactly 9 answers to food-related questions. Let's quickly enumerate all of them.

How often do you eat...

  1. Frozen dinners, take-out meals, sit-in meals, fast food, pizza.
  2. Bread, sandwiches, rolls.
  3. Chips, popcorn, pretzels, crackers, other salty snacks.
  4. Hot dogs, sausage, deli, or cured meats.
  5. Soda, flavored coffee, milk, tea drinks, juices.
  6. Peanuts, walnuts, seeds, other nuts, and nut butter.
  7. Fish, shellfish.
  8. Vegetables (we do not count potatoes, corn, peas, or beans).
  9. Fruits.

How about digging into the topic of your own health? 🤔

How can I improve my diet?

You may simply improve your diet by following a few simple steps.

  • Cook your own food! This will help you adjust the level of salt to what you really need.
  • Choose unsweetened drinks - if you fancy something sweet, add the sugar yourself. It is unlikely that you could make it as sweet as the food producers do.
  • Choose healthy products, no matter if they're fresh, frozen, or canned. Look out for the sodium content!
  • If it's difficult for you to cut out between-meals snacks, just try to swap them for healthier options that do not contain as much salt.

FAQ

How can I eat less salt?

Here's a how you can easily cut down on sodium consumption:

  • Don't buy takeaway meals - cook them yourself at home! Producers usually add much more salt than is really needed.
  • Eat bread only once a day - bread is a big contributor to the salt in the typical American diet.
  • Replace all salty snacks with fruits & nuts.
  • Reduce your processed meat consumption, especially deli or cured meat - replace it with chicken, turkey, nut spreads, cheese, or hummus.

How often should I eat bread?

Aim to limit your intake of bread to 1-2 servings per day. This is due to the high sodium content in this kind of product. 🍞

If you want to eat baked goods more often, consider these ideas:

  • Try to make your own bread; or
  • Look for low-sodium options.

How often should I eat fruits and vegetables?

Both fruits and vegetables should be eaten at least twice per day, which gives us at least 4 servings of these during a 24 hours period!

💡 1 serving = 1 cup (this does not include starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas and corn.)

Try to avoid juices and smoothies, as they may be low in fiber and high in sugar.

Are frozen and canned fish healthy?

Yes, they are! You should eat fatty fish at least 2 times per week. Although fresh and frozen are great options, canned fish can also help you meet this goal. 🐠

Although, there's a catch. Canned fish should always be check for their sodium content - always choose low-sodium products!

How can I calculate my diet risk score?

It's pretty effortless! Answer the 9 questions related to your food habits and count all the points according to the table below.

How often do you consume these foods?

FoodDaily2-3x /day1x /dayNever
Fast food3210
Bread3210
Salty snacks3210
Salty meats3330
Sweet drinks3210
Nuts0023
Fish0013
Vegetables0333
Fruit0333


💡We created this diet risk score calculator in cooperation with Emily Johnston, PhD, MPH, RDN, CDE, who developed and validated the calculation presented in the BMJ research paper: "Relative validity and reliability of a diet risk score (DRS) for clinical practice".

Emily Johnston, PhD and Łucja Zaborowska, MD
How often do you consume these foods?
Fast food 🍕
Never
Bread, rolls 🥪
Never
Chips, salty snacks, pretzels 🥨
Never
Hot dogs, sausages 🌭
Never
Sweet drinks 🥤
Never
Peanuts, seeds, nut butter 🥜
Daily
Fish, shellfish 🐟
Daily
Vegetables 🥕
Daily
Fruit 🍎
Daily
Risk score:
points
✅ Your diet risk is low.
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