Rodent cancer studies typically use defined diets with nutrient profiles optimized for rodent health. However, a defined rodent diet that represents typical American nutrition in all aspects, including calorie sources and macro- and micronutrient composition, is not yet available. Thus, a nutrient density approach was used to formulate the new Total Western Diet (TWD) based on NHANES data for macro- and micronutrient intakes. The TWD has fewer calories from protein and carbohydrate sources and twice that from fat as compared to the AIN-93 diet. The new diet contains more saturated and monounsaturated fats, less polyunsaturated fat, fewer complex carbohydrates, and twice the level of simple sugars. The TWD includes less calcium, copper, folate, thiamin, and vitamins B(6), B(12), D, and E, but much more sodium. This newly devised diet that better represents typical American nutrition will be highly useful for studies employing animal models of human disease, including cancer.