Ever tried to figure out which product has more food value per calorie? It can become very confusing if you look at the list of ingredients. What do you look for? More protein or more vitamins? What if you don't need to look at all those different factors and spend time analyzing them because it's already been done for you? Wouldn't that make shopping for groceries a whole lot easier, especially if you want to maintain a healthy weight?
Along comes Nuval, a blue hexagon shaped tag on the shelf label with a value from 1 to 100 which shows you a product's food value at a glance. Developed by doctors, the Nuval score is based on 30 factors including vitamins, fiber, salt, sugar, fat quality, protein quality, glycemic load, energy density and calories. Nuval is the quick way to health conscious shopping at your grocery store and serves consumers looking for a sustainable weight loss and maintenance lifestyle.
Some of the Nuval scores may surprise you:
Cocoa Puffs, for example, gets a NuVal score of 26, but so does Life ("you don't have to be a grown-up to benefit from the whole grain inside"), and Kashi Strawberry Fields Cereal ("plenty of whole grain goodness") gets a 10, same as Cap'n Crunch.
Of course your best approach is to avoid the center isles of the store altogether, and only shop products from the outer isles of the grocery store where most of the unprocessed food including all the fresh fruits and vegetable can be found. Still, you'll now be able to venture into the processed food section as well and make better choices there too. The Nuval score allows you to trade up as Dr. Katz calls it.
The best weight loss programs include strategies like eating slowly, smaller portions and no sodas, but eating mostly high food value items will help to ensure sustainable weight maintenance. Nuval makes that part a lot more easy and convenient.
Kroger stores have starting using the Nuval tags on their store shelves and they own Ralphs on the west coast as well. Lets hope this food value labeling system will soon spread to all supermarkets, so we are spared some of the deceptive claims made by food manufacturers about the health benefits of their products. As always, an informed consumer can make better choices for their own health.