On The Table

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NuVal Scores: Nutritional Scoring System

With so many different food groups and options, it is understandable how choosing nutritious items can be a confusing and perplexing undertaking. But there is a newer way to determine which products are healthier than others. So what exactly is this new labeling system and how may you benefit?

NuVal Scores: Nutritional Scoring System

What are NuVal Scores?

The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System and its calculated NuVal Scores are increasing on food products. The primary brain of the labeling system is Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Preventative Research Center. The scores are essentially apart of a labeling system based on a scale from one to 100 - the closer the number lands towards 100, the healthier the food. The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System prides itself on five powerful characteristics:

1. Simple

The NuVal System provides comprehensive nutritional information in one simple number between 1 and 100.

2. Inclusive

NuVal Scores cover all kinds of food - from apples to chips and store brands to national brands - not just products from specific manufacturers.

3. Convenient

NuVal Scores are right where you shop - on shelf tags throughout the store - so you can compare overall nutrition the way you compare price.

4. Objective

The NuVal System was developed independently by a team of nutrition and medical experts and funded by Griffin Hospital. No retailers or manufactures were involved.

5. Value-focused

NuVal Scores help you get the most nutrition for your money by allowing you to compare price and nutrition - side-by-side on the same tag.

NuVal Scores further turn nutritional quality into a quantifiable number. Stamped and placed above a white and blue hexagon, the NuVal score is an analyzed number from a quite complex algorithm. But as a simple explanation, NuVal takes what makes a food nutritious and favorable (such as fiber, minerals and vitamins) and divides that by the "bad" or unfavorable (including added sugar and fat) elements.

Interestingly, NuVal does identify foods as a "one" while others have the honor of receiving a "perfect score" of 100. Examples of "one" foods include Odwalla Pomegranate Lemonade and Nabisco Chips Ahoy Chewy Real Chocolate Chip Cookies. The most nutritious products, or "100" foods, include blueberries, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and Birds Eye Deluxe Frozen Artichoke Hearts. Though not all grocery stores feature the NuVal System, the official NuVal website also identifies NuVal Scores of common food products at easy access.

How May You Benefit?

First and foremost, the scores can be quite valuable. However, it is important to realize NuVal is not promoted as a diet. Utilizing NuVal Scores acts as a resource and tool to aid in better food choices at quick glance, without disregarding nutritional guidance from healthcare professionals. It is still quite important to pay close attention to nutrition and ingredient labels to tell the bigger nutrition story. All-in-all, use the NuVal Scores as a quick, convenient health guide while keeping the diet balanced with whole grains, fresh and colorful fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fat sources and limiting processed foods rich in trans fats and added sugars.

For more information on NuVal, check out the official website page along with NuVal-answered FAQs.