Well, it’s Thursday! I am driving from central Illinois straight to my interview in Columbus, OH! Which, by the way, is a 2 1/2 hour interview! I will spend 30 minutes with each of 5 different individuals or panels of dietitians. Talk about intense! After the interview, we’ll be checking into our hotel (which I’m sure will be super un-classy since they allow pets…when traveling with dogs, be prepared to rough it!) and then I’ll be seeing OUR NEW HOUSE for the first time! Believe it — Mr. Prevention purchased our new home without my approval. I am really hoping he did a good job!!
Anyways, Christina of Food.Fun.Fabulous is interning for NuVal this summer and offered to write today’s guest post! I am a huge, huge, huge fan of NuVal! I teach NuVal scoring to patients and have used it in classroom settings, as well. But I’ll let the very wise Christina tell you all about it!
Thanks, Christina! Enjoy!
How many times have you rushed into the grocery store wanting to pick out something healthy for your family and just didn’t have time to look at the Nutrition Facts Panel or the ingredients list? Maybe if you do have a second, you only concentrate on one thing – Fat? Salt? Sugar? It can all be a confusing. If you are looking for a little help, the NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System is here.
NuVal is a nutritional scoring system developed by a dozen top health and nutrition experts, including Dr. David Katz. The Overall Nutritional Quality Index™ (ONQI) algorithm factors in more than 30 different nutrients making it the most comprehensive algorithm to date. Generally favorable nutrients such as fiber and omega-3 fatty acids are placed in the numerator while generally unfavorable nutrients like saturated and trans fatty acids are placed in the denominator and voila! – a score from 1 to 100 is generated; the higher the number, the higher the nutrition. Now you can see at a glance how nutritious a food is.
I’m starting to sound like an infomercial now aren’t I? But NuVal is not a hoax. It is based on pure science and it is independent! NuVal was funded by Griffin Hospital and not developed in association with manufacturers or others interested in specific outcomes. Scores are based on national dietary guidelines and current research. NuVal even considers how certain nutrients impact disease risk including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Want proof? A Harvard Study conducted by Dr. Walt Willett determined that the higher the NuVal scores in an individual’s diet, the lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Currently, NuVal is in place at Price Chopper, Hy-Vee, Meijer, Brookshire, Festival Foods (WI), and United Supermarkets across the country as well as in Kroger stores in Lexington, Kentucky. It’s also being established in several other retailers throughout the year. Not in a store near you? Go to www.nuval.com and suggest a store! You can also see sample scores on the website, link to our NuVal blogs, and play our Nutrition by the Numbers game.
I have had the extremely fortunate experience of interning at NuVal this summer. In fact I have less than a month left and I’m so sad to be leaving! I’ve had the pleasure to be under the wing of NuVal’s Senior Director of Nutrition, Annette Maggi, as well as NuVal’s Nutrition Communications Manager, Rachel Rodek. I swear I must have grown 3 feet (figuratively of course!) in the past few weeks from everything they have taught me. So I’m sending out a big THANK YOU to both of them.
If there is one thing you can take away from NuVal, it’s that there is always an opportunity for a “trade-up.” It doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite snacks for an eating plan consisting only of fruits and veggies. If you love cookies try switching from one that is lower scoring to one that is higher scoring. The highest scoring cookie is Kashi TLC Tasty Little Cookies Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Flax with a score of 40. That is awesome for that category because the average cookie score is a 7. Even Oreos score above average with a 24! Another somewhat surprising score? Annie’s Homegrown Cinnamon Bunny Grahams score less than half as much as Oreos with an 11. Sorry but being organic doesn’t automatically mean it is high scoring.
So keep in mind that little changes add up over time and can have a big impact on your health.
NuVal. One number. One decision. One food at a time.
Question: Have you heard of NuVal? Is the NuVal scoring system active in your local grocery store?