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July 7, 2014

NuVal System: Scoring the Foods You Eat

NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System

Probably nothing is more confusing when it comes to health than nutrition. And, nothing is also more important to our health than nutrition. Would it not be nice to have a simple approach to judge the nutritional quality of the foods you eat? Well there is a system. And, it is called the NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System. The NuVal system makes it easier to compare the nutritional quality of the foods you eat – and it’s as simple as comparing prices. In fact, you can compare price and nutritional quality at the same time simply by looking at the price tag.

Why NuVal?

We have an epidemic of obesity and diabetes – what some now call diabesity – and both are largely the result of eating poor quality of foods which exist in abundance in today’s society. It’s been determined that through lifestyle changes, much of which is diet related, that we can reduce heart disease by 80%, diabetes by 90%, and cancer by 60%. With nutrition front and center of these diseases it has become vital that an easy system be developed to help consumers make healthier choices – the motivation behind the NuVal® Nutrition Scoring System.

Spearheaded by David Katz, MD, NuVal was developed by a dream team of international scientists including David Jenkins, the inventor of the glycemic index.

How NuVal Works

Nuval is a scoring system that rates foods from 1 to 100. The higher the score, the more healthy the food. Foods receiving a score of 100 are the healthiest while foods with a score of 1 are the most unhealthy. NuVal makes it possible to compare foods in the same category. Should you buy rye bread or white bread? Should buy yogurt or cottage cheese? Should you buy apple sauce or apples? And, of the hundreds of cereals on the shelf which should you choose?

The NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System is based on an algorithm that takes into account over 30 nutrients and nutrition factors. Nutrients that are healthy or favorable makeup the numerator and those that are unhealthy (trans fats, sugar, cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fats) make up the denominator. Each nutrient is weighted based on the magnitude of its effects on our health. The equation also takes into the nutrient density (lot of nutrients per calorie), protein quality, fat quality, and glycemic load.

Where Can You Find NuVal?

NuVal is not foung in every grocery store and it is not found in all states. Thus far, the system is being used by some grocery stores in 30 states. To find a store near you that makes the NuVal® Nutrition Scoring System available click here and enter your zip code. For instance, in my area NuVal system can be found at Giant Eagle and Meijers.

Using NuVal

When you are shopping at a store where NuVal is available simply look at the price tag and usually on the right side of the price tag you should see the NuVal blue double hexagon logo with a number representing the score for a particular food. Select foods that have the highest score in each category you shop.

Go around the store and look at some of the scores as you may be surprised. It turns out that many nutrition bars have scores below 30 and most breakfast cereals are not very healthy either. Both of these tend to be high in sugar and low in fiber. Think Lean Cuisines are healthy? Think again! You can’t go wrong with most green vegetables most of which have NuVal scores in 95 to 100 range. I went around the grocery store with my two teen-age sons to help educate them on the system, but we did it at 10:30 PM (a last minute “male bonding” idea) so who knows if they were listening. The fact that they both asked for soft drinks after our “educational tour” suggests not. But hey, I tried.

So there’s little excuse now with NuVal available not to make wiser nutrition choices. Remember the choices you make, make you. Choose wisely! Eat wisely!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqBaXHN1saE&feature=plcp&context=C3b4f5d9UDOEgsToPDskKE5u2AIbBrUDgJR7VHhjXQ

 

 

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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