The nation’s largest supermarket chain, Kroger, has rolled out the NuVal nutrition scoring system to 23 Lexington, Kentucky stores to help shoppers make healthier food choices. The scoring system gives each food a score, from 1 to 100. Foods with high scores are more nutritious, foods with low scores are less. Shoppers also have the added confidence that the ranking system is provided by a third party, not food or beverage producers. NuVal was developed by nutrition and medical experts from top health organizations and universities.
Perhaps the most surprising part of the NuVal scores is how poorly some of the “health” foods ranked against regular snacks. For example, Garden of Eatin’ no salt added blue corn chips actually score better than an Odwalla Fruit smoothie: the chips earn a score of 52 while the smoothie gets a 49. Fresh fruits and vegetables get scores near to 100.
If trying to understand the nutritional value of the foods you’re eating based upon the information provided on food labels and ingredients list leaves you feeling lost, then help is here. Some of these are already in place and many are coming soon, but four different organizations have created new labeling for packaged and fresh food products to help consumers understand at a glance how healthy or not their foods really are. Whether printed on the package itself, like Smart Choices, or posting stickers on shelves, like NuVal, counting nutrition will be as easy as 1-2-3, or maybe even counting stars, like Guiding Stars. Here we explain these new systems, as well as Nutrition IQ, and how they each work for you.
Smart Choices labels are being printed on the front of the package for only foods that nutritionally qualify. You’ll see the green check mark, servings per package and total calories per serving. The “rating” is defined by a co-op of food producers, retailers and nutritional organizations like the American Heart Association. (more…)
When you walk into your grocery store, you’re likely to pass by upwards of 45,000 different products. Each of these has a different food label, listing its nutritional values. All of this can be overwhelming, and often times, is the reason so many of us speed through the market without paying too much attention to what we’re throwing in our carts.
If you’ve ever wished there were a simpler way to know with just a glance which foods provide the most nutrition and which you should just avoid, tomorrow is a new day. On October 1, many major grocery store chains are adopting the new ONQI, or the Overall Nutritional Quality Index. This index assigns a single value, 1 to 100, to a given food product, fresh or packaged, so that shoppers know at a glance which items are more nutritious. The ONQI, also being called NuVal, bases this number on an algorithm that equates 30 nutrition factors like minerals, vitamins, sugar, protein, carbs, fat, trans fat, salt, omega 3, cholesterol, as well as antioxidants, energy density and glycemic load. (more…)