Table 1

Healthy Eating Index 2015, Mediterranean diet and DASH component standards for scoring

ComponentMaximum pointsCriteria for maximum scoreCriteria for minimum score of zero
Healthy Eating Index
Total fruits5≥0.8 c equivalents/1000 kcalNo fruit
Whole fruits5≥0.4 c equivalents/1000 kcalNo whole fruit
Total vegetables5≥1.1 c equivalents/1000 kcalNo vegetables
Greens and beans5≥0.2 c equivalents/1000 kcalNo dark green vegetables or beans and peas
Whole grains10≥1.5 oz equivalents/1000 kcalNo whole grains
Dairy10≥1.3 c equivalents/1000 kcalNo dairy
Total protein foods5≥2.5 oz equivalents/1000 kcalNo protein foods
Seafood and plant proteins5≥0.8 c equivalents/1000 kcalNo seafood or plant proteins
Fatty acids10(PUFAs+MUFAs)/SFAs ≥2.5(PUFAs+MUFAs)/SFAs ≤1.2
Refined grains10≤1.8 oz equivalents/1000 kcal≥4.3 oz equivalents/1000 kcal
Sodium10≤1.1 g/1000 kcal≥2.0 g/1000 kcal
Added sugars10≤6.5% of energy≥26% of energy
Saturated fats10≤8% of energy≥16% of energy
Mediterranean diet
Favorable components
Vegetables≥sex-specific median≤sex-specific median
Nuts and fruits≥sex-specific median≤sex-specific median
Cereals≥sex-specific median≤sex-specific median
Legume≥sex-specific median≤sex-specific median
MUFA/SFA≥sex-specific median≤sex-specific median
Unfavorable components≥sex-specific median≤sex-specific median
Dairy products≤sex-specific median≥sex-specific median
Poultry and meat≤sex-specific median≥sex-specific median
FruitsQ1=1 point
VegetablesQ2=2 points
Nuts and legumesQ3=3 points
Whole grainsQ4=4 points
Low-fat dairyQ5=5 points
Sodium*Reverse scoring
Red and processed meats*Q1=5 points
Sweetened beverages*Q2=4 points
Q3=3 points
Q4=2 points
Q5=1 point
  • *Higher quintiles represent higher intake; however, in constructing the DASH score, high intake and high quintiles received lower scores.

  • DASH, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension; MUFA, monounsaturated fatty acid; PUFA, polyunsaturated fatty acid; Q, quintile; SFA, saturated fatty acid.