MEDFICTS is a dietary assessment instrument designed to evaluate patient adherence to the National Cholesterol Education Program Step 1 and Step 2 diets. It provides a quick way to record food intake, portion size, and frequency of intake while focusing on foods that are the primary contributors of total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol in the average American diet (i.e., Meats, Eggs, Dairy, Fried foods, fat In baked goods, Convenience foods, fats added at the Table and Snacks). MEDFICTS was validated in a pilot study using 16 computer-analyzed sets of 4-day food records randomly selected from 7-day food records collected in the Diet Modification Clinic at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex). MEDFICTS correctly identified the 11 patients consuming a Step 1 diet, the 2 patients consuming the Step 2 diet and the 3 patients consuming an average American diet. Pearson correlation coefficients between MEDFICTS and the 4-day records were significant for percent energy from total fat (r = 0.81, P < .0002), saturated fat (r = 0.79, P < .0003), and cholesterol (r = 0.52, P < .039). Pearson correlation coefficients from 2 follow-up validation studies (3-day diet records [n = 22] through the Mary Imogene Bassett Research Institute, Cooperstown, NY, and a second study at the Diet Modification Clinic [n = 26]) also correlated significantly with percent energy from total fat (r = 0.56, P < .006; r = 0.71, P < .0001), saturated fat (r = 0.60, P < .003; r = 0.71, P < .0001), and approached significance for cholesterol intake (r = 0.54, P < .009; r = 0.39, P < .051) respectively. MEDFICTS is a quick, efficient tool that can be used in cardiovascular health screening, clinical practice, or research for the assessment of adherence to Step 1 or 2 diets. It can be self administered, and when reviewed with a dietitian, can provide an opportunity for nutrition education.