Expo Spotlight Presentation: Implications of Nova and Ultra-Processed Foods for Plant-Predominant Diets


The merits of the Nova food classification system are being evaluated by researchers and health organizations around the world including in the US by the USDA and the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. It is imperative that registered dietitian nutritionists and other food and nutrition professionals understand Nova because, while the consumption of plant-predominant diets is recommended, nearly all of the plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, including those derived from soy, are Nova-classified as ultra-processed foods.

Sponsored by FNCE® Spotlight Sponsor: Soy Connection by U.S. Soy

Learning Objectives

Define the principles underlying the Nova food classification system and identify to which Nova food groups different foods belong.

Describe the extent to which food processing is linked with health outcomes.

Evaluate the healthfulness of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, which are ranked as ultra-processed foods according to Nova, based on other important parameters such as nutrient content, accessibility, and contribution to an overall healthy eating pattern.



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