Table 1

Distribution of daily energy intake according to NOVA food groups

Food groupsMean energy intake (kcal)SEMean percentage of total energy intakeSE
Unprocessed or minimally processed foods537.36.427.40.3
 Roots and tubers34.
Processed culinary ingredients85.
 Plant oils32.
 Animal fats25.
Processed foods215.34.810.00.2
 Ham and other salted, smoked or canned meat or fish28.
 Vegetables and other plant foods preserved in brine14.
 Fruits in syrup, jams, marmalades9.
Ultra-processed foods1205.47.858.50.3
 Frozen/shelf-stable dishes§
 Fruit and milk drinks114.
 Cakes, cookies and pies123.
 Soft drinks96.
 Salty snacks85.
 Breakfast cereals56.
 Sauces, dressings and gravies51.
 Sausages, hamburgers, reconstituted meat products51.
All foods2043.29.6100.0
  • US population aged ≥2 years (NHANES  2007–2012).

  • *Including nuts and seeds (unsalted); yeast; dried fruits (without added sugars) and vegetables; non-presweetened, non-whitened, non-flavoured coffee and tea; coconut water and meat; homemade soup and sauces; flours; tapioca.

  • †Including starches; coconut and milk cream; unsweetened baking chocolate, cocoa powder and gelatin powder; vinegar; baking powder and baking soda.

  • ‡Including salted or sugared nuts and seeds; peanut, sesame, cashew and almond butter or spread; beer and wine.

  • §Including pizzas and ready-to-eat dishes.

  • ¶Including soy products such as meatless patties and fish sticks; baby food and baby formula; dips, spreads, mustard and catsup; margarine; sugar substitutes, sweeteners and all syrups (excluding 100% maple syrup); distilled alcoholic drinks.

  • NHANES, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.