Sunday, July 31, 2011

What Is Nu Val?

Maybe you've noticed the newest numbers lingering near the price of the foods sitting on the shelves of your grocery store. This one simple number gives you huge insight into the nutritional value of the products that you choose for your family to eat! Hence the name "Nu Val" - and the good news is that Nu Val was formulated by independent medical and scientific experts - so you know you're getting the whole story.

The Nu Val number takes into account a wide range of nutritional factors and uses a scientific formula to calculate the exact nutritional value of foods. The higher the number is, the greater the nutritional value of the food. I noticed the numbers for the first time this week in my local store. I was purchasing tortilla chips and noticed that the blue chips had a significantly higher number than the white or yellow chips. A friend had told me recently about the new system so I started checking out the other items I was purchasing that day. Not all items in my store have their numbers yet, but you can find out by visiting their website if your store has them yet.

Now if you're sitting there thinking, "great, one more thing I have to think about while I'm wrangling kids in the race car shopping cart!" Think again. This could actually save you a LOT of time if you are a mom who checks how many grams of sugar are in cereal, or one who debates whether to buy skim milk or soy milk. And, if you're the kind of mom who wants to make better food choices for you family, but can't imagine taking the time to read labels things are now simplified. Take a look at this all-inclusive number - the closer you get to 100, the better the food is for you and your family.

So here are a few examples:

Most fruits and vegetables are in the 90-100 point range - the best you can get

Whole grains and lean meats (seafood as well) rank high too - usually in the 70-90 point range

Even canned and frozen vegetables rank higher than other processed food - most well about 50 points

If you purchase a lot of pre-packaged snacks, you should know many of these have scores less than 20 points. They are by far the least nutritious foods although some fortified cereals and organic snacks get fair rankings.

In my short personal (and very unscientific) study, I can see that things like high salt content can make a food that would otherwise seem like a fine choice fall down the point scale. And you can't assume that just because something is labeled organic or all-natural that it automatically is the best choice. It may not pack the vitamins and minerals that it's conventional counterpart does.

I highly recommend a visit to the Nu Val website - watch the informational video and play the "Nutrition by the Numbers" game to see how savvy you are about the foods you eat.

Once you do, please come back and leave a comment to tell us what you discovered!

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