Food Quality Powered by Ratios Carb to Fiber & Others

Introducing the first Nutrition Quality calculator. The NCS algorithm integrates the latest gut health & nutrition research, simplifying food decisions to a 100-Point scale. Powered by the Nutrient Ratios disrupted during food processing, it eliminates the need to carb & calorie count allowing you to simply choose high-quality foods. The microbiome & body will naturally do the rest. ~ Dr. Chris Damman

Try a Food Search

For Fun…

Type & Add Items, + What is the score?
Add Some Fiber, ≡ Does it change?
Type a Wild Card, * What foods return?
Sort the Results, 🔘 How do they rank?


Nutrition Guidance at Your Fingertips

Food Quality reduced to a 100-point scale, and powered by nutrient ratios.

  • Scan product barcodes
  • Combine foods for recipes
  • Track food quality over time
  • Compatible with any diet

The prerelease list is now open. Be among first to explore.

The Score

Maximize green, moderate yellow, and minimize red scoring food combinations in both amount and frequency. See how scores and subscores change when you combine foods. Use ratio subscores to provide insights on how to synergize and supplement foods. Don’t fret about small point differences between foods or achieving the highest possible green score and do embrace a wide variety of green foods.

  • Green (100-70): Maximize
  • Yellow (69-60): Moderate
  • Red (59-0): Minimize

The Design

The gut health nutrition algorithm designed by a University of Washington gastroenterologist incorporates below literature evidence on nutrient ratios, additives, and bioactives to inform an overall food quality score. It references the USDA’s FoodData Central for nutrient values of individual foods. Quality scores of 70-100 and ratio subscores of less than 2 correlate with whole foods and better-for-you processed foods.

The Evidence

Modern food processing has disrupted the natural ratios present in whole food matrixes, concentrating for simple carbohydrates, saturated fats, sodium, and additives while limiting fiber, unsaturated fats, potassium, and bioactives. Some of the latest research is suggesting that disrupted ratios that involve both concentrated and insufficient nutrients are important contributors to the rising rates of gut, metabolic, cardiovascular & neurologic disease.[1,2]

Nutrient ratios that provide a composite score of carb, fat, and micronutrient quality have been associated with a lower odds ratio for metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and lung disease as well as higher odds ratio for optimal cardiometabolic health.[3,4]

Carb to Fiber: Micrograph of starch granules (green) & cell walls (blue).

Carb quality (i.e. favorable carb to fiber ratio) is associated with better health[5]: lower depression[6], smaller waist[7], lower diabetes rates[8–10], and less heart disease[11,12]. Fiber slows the absorption of carbs and is converted by the microbiome to factors like butyrate that help to efficiently process them once absorbed.  For more information on fiber please follow this link.

Fat quality (i.e. favorable total fat to unsaturated fat ratio) is also associated with health: improved blood lipids and glycemic control.[13] For more information on fats please follow this link.

Micronutrient quality (i.e. sodium to potassium ratio) has been associated with lower blood pressure[14] and interventions have lead to decreased blood pressure and stroke.[15]  

Bioactive quality (i.e. low harmful additives and high bioactives). Some unnatural additives like certain sugar alternatives[16], trans fats[17], and some emulsifiers[18] have been linked to poor health markers or outcomes while other natural bioactives like polyphenols/phytochemicals[19] and short chain fatty acids (e.g. acetic acid[20], butyrate[21]) have been linked to better health outcomes.

This resource is intended to be a dietary guide. Please consult your physician for any questions pertaining to medical advice.

MD-authored food & microbiome digests to demystify gut health.


44 responses to “Carb Fiber Ratio Calculator for Gut Health Nutrition”

  1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

    The above calculator demonstrates the power of the algorithm. The above app will make it practical. Still a work in progress and welcome your feedback.

    1. Mark Glickman Avatar
      Mark Glickman

      Is that app available in the Apple app store?

      1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

        Hi Mark, Thanks for the question. Not just yet, but working on it. Will send a note out when it is available. In the meantime, you can try the online calculator as an appetizer. The app will have added the functionality of allowing you to scan grocery store items and combine foods in specific proportions. Stay tuned! Best, Dr. D

    2. R Starkey Avatar
      R Starkey

      Agree with others this is simple, practical, and helpful.

      One technical nit: I have tried the app in both Android and Apple platforms and in both I have the same issue. Some of the food descriptions have indication there is more to the description (… at the end) and neither platform allow me to see the entire food description. E.g., Value of 83 “Lettuce, salad with avocado, tomato, and/o…”

      I have been using the app all day to develop menu for the week.

      Thanks for the work on your part.

      1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

        Thanks for the feedback. Glad you’ve found it useful! Try turning your phone sideways or resizing the window on a computer screen and those longer descriptions should be visible. Please let me know if this doesn’t work, and of course would love to hear about some of those meals you’ve planned.

  2. Ben Roberts Avatar
    Ben Roberts

    Love this, so simple but practical!

  3. Matt Van Horn Avatar
    Matt Van Horn


  4. Bradley R Olsen Avatar
    Bradley R Olsen

    Very cool tool!

  5. Ernie Gsell Avatar
    Ernie Gsell

    Interesting and looks easy to use. Also makes you think.

  6. Katie Damman Avatar
    Katie Damman

    What a great way to see how healthy you are eating.

  7. Gage Rossiter Avatar
    Gage Rossiter

    Absolutely outstanding tool. Very well designed infographics. Minor translation and vocabulary issues from American English to Australian English but this will only slightly slow down use.

    1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

      Gage, really appreciate your positive feedback! Glad you’ve found the calculator useful.

  8. Anne Marie Avatar
    Anne Marie

    Please let us know when the app is available in the app store

    1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

      Will absolutely let you know. Thanks for your note.

  9. Kate Wallace Avatar
    Kate Wallace

    Will there be a way for us to be able to input food items with the nutritional facts if it doesn’t show on your list of foods? I’m in Australia so a lot of foods I use don’t show.

    1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

      Great question. The app will indeed have the option to input nutritional facts for products not in the database.

  10. Sergio Ortiz Avatar
    Sergio Ortiz

    On, you give fruit smoothies a score of 84, which may reflect their nutritional content, but isn’t it also true that smoothies are basically sugar bombs because all their sugar is available as free sugar, and are therefore not as healthy as they seem?

    1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

      You raise an excellent point. If you type in “fruit smoothie” you’ll see a range of scores (84 to 45) as determined by the algorithm and based on the specific nutrients and their ratios as you surmise. The score of 84 is in part being driving by the high fiber (glycemic index mitigating) content and added protein of that particular smoothie. The algorithm does not currently take into account food structure, which some literature has shown impacts nutrient absorption. There is active debate on the impact of blending food. It is interesting to note that foods that have concentrated components of fiber (i.e. skin or seeds) can actually have an improvement in glycemic index with blending. Below is one of a handful of papers that might support this idea. Thanks for your astute comment!

  11. Mark D Ryan Avatar
    Mark D Ryan

    Thanks for the tool and carb:fiber ratio info.
    Question –
    1. What is the number right after CARBS?
    eg. Avocado, raw – CARBS 1.13, Total Carb 8.53, Fiber 6.7g

    1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

      The highlighted numbers next to each of the nutrients represent a nutrients quality scale that’s based on ratios. Generally, the lower the number, the higher quality, but I would focus instead on the colors which mirror those in the composite 1-100 score.

  12. Mark D Ryan Avatar
    Mark D Ryan

    Thanks Chris,

    Is lower COMPOSITE SCORE better than higher?

    1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

      Green is generally higher quality for both composite and subscores.

  13. Tina Courtessi Courtessi Avatar
    Tina Courtessi Courtessi

    thank you this looks great.

    1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

      Tina, Thanks so much for the positive feedback! Dr D

  14. Susan Avatar

    What about high fiber versions of common foods such as tortillas, breads and crackers? Will they be listed by brand and not lumped into a category?

    1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

      This is a great question. The majority of US products and their bar codes will be covered.

  15. Susan Grossman Avatar
    Susan Grossman

    You mentioned the glycemic index. How does this factor into your algorithm?

    1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

      The glycemic index isn’t in the algorithm explicitly but carb to fiber ratio follows glycemic index quite closely. The algorithm also takes into account the benefit of combining simple carbs with protein and high quality fats. Thanks for the question.

  16. Carol Zingsheim Avatar
    Carol Zingsheim

    How do I get the app?

    1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

      The app is still in development. I will send out a notification as soon as it is available. In the meantime please feel free to use the online calculator to get a sense of how the algorithm works. Thanks for your inquiry.

  17. Colleen Kuhn Avatar
    Colleen Kuhn

    My husband has been doing Noom with much success. This Red, Yellow, Green and how it calculates food look a lot like this. What is the difference?

    1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

      Congratulations on your husband’s success! Sharing a few thoughts on your good question below.

      Methodological and philosophical differences:
      -Granular 1-100 score with color gradients vs. red, orange, yellow score
      -Algorithm driven by nutrient ratios (see above for rationale) vs. calorie and nutrient density
      -Emphasis on overall health with weight, blood sugar, and gut benefits vs. greater emphasis on weight loss
      -Pro bono public service vs. paid for profit

      Hope that helps! Happy to answer any follow up questions.

      Compare how the scores differ for food categories in the two links below:
      -Gut Bites NCS:

  18. D Avatar

    Would love to try this, but it doesn’t seem to work. Can type in something, but the search bar doesn’t work. Am I doing something wrong?

    1. Chris Damman, MD, MA Avatar

      Hi D, Sorry it’s not working. I wonder if you’ve tried the site on a different web browser or different computer/phone/device? Please let me know if this doesn’t help. Best, Dr. D.

  19. April Trenge Avatar
    April Trenge

    This was eye opening. I thought I was getting fiber, but no. I haveve IBS- D. I follow the formal diet, foods listed high I can’t eat at all and done things on the low side I also don’t tolerate. ( gas, diarrhea). I don’t tolerate fiber, and am eating a high carb diet. Would like to change but don’t know how. Any suggestions would be welcome

    1. Chris Damman, MD Avatar

      Hi April, I’m glad to hear you found it helpful and sorry to hear fiber is tough on your gut. You articulate the experience of many people and I’m grateful for your comment. I might suggest you work with your healthcare provider or registered dietician on finding which of the FODMAPs trigger your symptoms. It’s equally eye opening to some that not all fiber is treated by individual microbiomes in the same way. Here is a GutBites digest that provides a little more background. My best wishes, Dr. D

  20. Ted Passero Avatar
    Ted Passero

    how will i know when the app is available for iPhones?

    1. Chris Damman, MD Avatar

      Thanks for your good question. I will be sure to send a note out to folks as soon as it’s available. Best, Dr. D

  21. Brenda Acker Avatar
    Brenda Acker

    I love this. Thanks for developing such a useful tool. Can’t wait for the app.

    1. Chris Damman, MD Avatar

      Thanks so much for positive feedback!

  22. Roberta Rockey Avatar
    Roberta Rockey

    what the heck is NFS? In my world of retail, it means “not for sale”

    1. Chris Damman, MD Avatar

      Great question! I think you meant NCS which stands for nutrient consume score. It’s the algorithm that powers the calculator.

  23. M Avatar

    I found calculator to be limited in current form as I add my salad ingredients, I can no longer see the list to add to the total

    1. Chris Damman, MD Avatar

      Thanks for your good comment. I made the frame a bit bigger to accommodate more items. The app will be able to accommodate unlimited items. Very much appreciate your feedback!

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