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After using Noom for a month, I learned that they use a color system to categorize foods and that they use this color system to advise users on how much of each food to consume.
The yellow food category encompasses foods that should be consumed in moderation, but Noom doesn’t provide many examples of yellow foods for its users, so I’ve done the research and put together this extensive list of yellow foods.
What Are Noom Yellow Foods?
Yellow foods in the Noom app are foods that have a moderate amount of calories per serving and a moderate amount of nutrients.
Noom explains that:
You should eat yellow foods in moderation to keep your calorie intake on track for weight loss goals
Yellow foods on Noom include things like:
- Lean-ish animal proteins
- More processed carbs
- Low-fat dairy products
As a nutrition coach, I wanted to learn more about how Noom classifies foods into the yellow category.
So I reached out to Noom asking for more specific information. At first, they weren’t willing to share specifics.
Noom answered, referring me to an article that already exists within the app and doesn’t provide much detail about the formula or calculations used.
I took one more shot at it and asked them again for the formula used, and they provided it.
Noom explained that they use calorie density (the number of calories in a serving of food divided by the weight or volume of that food) to classify foods into each color category.
Yellow foods in Noom are foods that have a calorie density between:
- 1 and 2.4 calories/gram for solid food,
- 0.5 and 1.0 calories/mL for soups/sauces/spreads
- 0.4 and 0.5 calories/mL for beverages
For example, white rice has 76 calories per 50-gram serving which gives it a calorie density of 1.52 classifying it as a yellow food. Brown rice has 49 calories per 50-gram serving giving it a calorie density of 0.98 and classifying it as a green food.
Note: Noom also explained that although they use this formula to guide their classifications; however, they have their “team of nutrition experts and medical doctors review the data and make modifications to help the color system”.
A Word Of Caution
Noom’s classification system isn’t public information, so in an attempt to provide the public with answers, this Reddit thread was created.
The Reddit thread provides a hypothesized formula for how Noom classifies their foods, but after comparing this formula to Noom’s actual formula you can see that it’s not accurate.
Key Takeaway: Although yellow foods aren’t as low-calorie as green foods, they are still important for your overall health. To determine which foods fall into the yellow food category you can refer to Noom’s calorie density formula outlined above.
How To Incorporate Yellow Foods Into Your Noom Diet?
You can incorporate Yellow Foods into your diet by:
- Choosing High-Quality Animal Proteins. Including animal proteins like salmon, pork, or turkey as your main source of protein in your meals is an easy way to incorporate yellow food.
- Adding Healthy Fats To Your Meals. Incorporating sources of healthy fats like avocado, low-fat dairy products, eggs, and hummus into your meals would add yellow foods to your diet.
- Experimenting With Plant-Based Proteins. Using plant-based sources of protein like tempeh, seitan, or beans and legumes as your main protein source or in addition to animal proteins can increase your consumption of yellow foods.
- Using Condiments To Add Flavor To Your Food. Adding flavor to your meals using condiments like balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and sauces or pastes is a delicious way to increase your yellow food consumption.
Noom Yellow Foods List
To come up with this list of yellow foods, I’ve logged each of these into the Noom app to verify that Noom has categorized them as yellow foods.
Fruits That Are Yellow on Noom
- Canned Fruit (in syrup)
Grains That Are Yellow on Noom
- White Rice
- Rice Noodles
- Rice Paper
- Whole Wheat Bagels (select varieties)
- English Muffins
- Whole Wheat Pita
- Protein Pancakes (Kodiak Cakes Brand)
Vegetables That Are Yellow on Noom
Starches That Are Yellow on Noom
Dairy Products That Are Yellow on Noom
- Low-fat Yogurt
- Low-fat Greek Yogurt
- Low-fat Milk (1% & 2%)
- Low-fat Cottage Cheese
- Low-fat Ricotta
- Low-fat Feta
- Low-fat Mozzarella
- Parmesan Cheese
Proteins That Are Yellow on Noom
- Steak (Top Sirloin, Striploin, Rib Eye, Flank Steak, Beef Tenderloin)
- Lean Ground Beef
- Ground Bison
- Pork (Chops, Tenderloin)
- Turkey Breast
- Chicken Thighs
- Chicken Sausage
- Turkey Bacon
- Deli Meat
Seafood That Is Yellow on Noom
- Canned Tuna (in oil)
- Tuna Steak
- Sardines (in water)
- Smoked Oysters
- Cod Fish
- Tilapia Fish
Beans & Legumes That Are Yellow on Noom
Plant-Based Alternatives That Are Yellow on Noom
- Almond Milk
- Coconut Yogurt
- Soy Milk
- Cashew Milk
- Oat milk
Soups & Broths That Are Yellow on Noom
- Clam Chowder
- Tomato Bisque
- Beef Barley Soup
- Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Italian Wedding Soup
Condiments That Are Yellow on Noom
- Sweeteners (Splenda, stevia)
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Soy Sauce
- Pizza Sauce
- Thai Curry Paste
- Fish Sauce
- Tomato Paste
Drinks That Are Yellow On Noom
- Ginger Beer
- Diet Soda
- Fruit Juice
Alcohol That Is Yellow on Noom
- Beer & Light Beer
- Wine Spritzer
- Vodka Cooler
- Vodka and Club Soda
- Gin and Club Soda
- Tequila and Club Soda
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is Garlic Yellow On Noom?
Noom’s calorie density equation for classifying foods determines that garlic has more calories per serving than is acceptable for a “green food”. A 5-gram serving of garlic has 8 calories, which gives it a calorie density of 1.6 and a yellow food classification.
Why Is Beer Yellow On Noom?
Beer is yellow on Noom while many other alcoholic beverages are not because it is lower in calories and has a lower percentage of alcohol. Both light beer and regular beer are considered yellow, so you can enjoy them in moderation so long as you don’t exceed your caloric target on Noom.
About The Author
Amanda Parker is an author, nutrition coach, and Certified Naturopath. She works with bodybuilders, Olympic weightlifters, and powerlifters to increase performance through nutrition and lifestyle coaching.