Given the contribution of nutrition to overall health and the limited time of outpatient visits, medical students and physicians need specific questions and assessment tools that quickly and reliably identify if further dietary assessment is warranted. This article reviews the state of the literature regarding tools for rapid identification of poor versus healthy diet in general medical patients. The literature includes expert guidance on screening for poor diet in primary care, and a number of assessment instruments exist that may be useful in the clinical setting, for which limited reliability and validity analysis has been performed. Some groups are also actively working to create brief, valid instruments, and these are available to physicians. However, additional research guiding physicians on how to perform efficient and effective nutritional screening is greatly needed.