Talking to the Experts: Dr. David Katz on NuVal Scores
Dr. David Katz is back! This time he’s filling us in on the new food scoring system turning up in grocery stores: the NuVal system. You may have seen these scores cropping up your grocery store -- here's how (and why) to use them.
Here's how the NuVal system works: Each food at your grocery store is assigned a value from 1 to 100, based on nutrition data from a panel of food experts. The higher the number; the more nutritious the food. At participating stores, you'll see tags on grocery items all over the store, from the produce section to the snack aisle. We asked NuVal advisory board member Dr. David Katz to give us the scoop on this new healthy eating tool.
- It works like ‘GPS’ for the food supply; experts have done the heavy lifting to make finding what you want easy for you.
- It is a reliable and trust-worthy measure of overall nutritional quality, developed by dedicated public health experts, and validated by research in over 100,000 people.
- It is as simple as it gets: the higher the number, the more nutritious the food.
DK: Top foods are spinach, broccoli, berries, oats, lentils, beans, salmon, walnuts -- all of the foods experts most recommend! Lowest are soda some brands of candies spreads and dressings and chips.
DK: Mostly, consumers say: “where have you been all my life?” The system makes shopping for better nutrition SO much easier. The primary response is delight, and gratitude. And, we have evidence that it is influencing choices, shifting them to higher scoring items within any given food category.
DK: Sure -- they should let the supermarket manager know. When enough managers get this message, corporate headquarters will get the message!
DK: For now, by using it to choose the most nutritious version of any given ingredient, and using those ingredients to build better recipes. But before long, we hope to offer recipe makeover tools online as well.
DK: A standard hamburger scores about 5, when made from lean ground turkey, it scores 20. My wife's recipe which (deliciously) blends lean ground turkey with pureed lentils scores 34.
Special thanks to Dr. Katz for another great interview! For more information, visit the NuVal Web site.
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »