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Will the New Smart Choices Label Help You Lose Weight?

smart choices logoIf you haven’t already, you will soon see this label on processed foods at a grocery store near you. I know, I know… anyone who has been in a grocery store in the last three years, has probably seen the “smart spots”, “sensible solutions”, “best life”, and healthy food rating systems like “stars” or “overall nutrient quality index“. It’s complicated. What do these things mean and how can they help me? Right?!

The Smart Choices Program was motivated by the need for a single, trusted and reliable front-of-pack nutrition labeling program that U.S. food manufacturers and retailers could voluntarily adopt to help guide people in making food and beverage choices that fit within their daily calorie needs.
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Making Sense of the New Healthy Food Labels

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

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.
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Major Food Brands Adopt New Smart Choices Logo

Some of the nation’s largest food and beverage companies are implementing a common nutritional standard and using a universal logo on packaging to denote healthier foods in our grocery aisles, which they are hoping will help consumers identify and purchase healthier foods. This logo and packaging are part of the Smart Choices Program, which is expected to hit our grocery stores the middle of next year.

This logo will appear on the front of the products’ packaging and will include the Smart Choices logo, a check mark, the calories per serving and number of servings in the package. The Smart Choices Program logo signifies foods that limit unhealthy ingredients and feature healthy ones.


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New Food Ranking System, NuVal, Makes Nutritional Food Choices Easy to Find

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.
nuvalIf 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.
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