NuVal, a Nutritional Scoring System, was created by a brilliant team of doctors and dietitians  to evaluate food based on 30 different nutrients and nutrition factors. Rather than get confused by all of the different labels of “low cholesterol”, “reduced-fat”, “sugar free”, you, as a consumer, will look at one number and know that the most important nutritional components were evaluated. For example, almonds might be high in fat but they rate an 81, where as Lays Baked Potato Chips which are low in fat but have almost no nutritional value rate a 21.

fruit loops sun chips

This is a great alternative to the green checkmark label of Smart Choices which proclaims that processed foods such as Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes, and Cocoa Puffs are good choices. Smart Choices Program claims to make their decisions based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Smart Choices is facing criticism from a number of directions.

NuVal is currently being piloted with the Price Chopper Chain in the North East but I have the highest hopes that their aggressive expansion to all grocery stores in the US will occur. They will evaluate almost every product in the supermarket so no longer will you have to spend time pouring over nutritional labels in the granola bar aisle. Well, I probably still would…

Here’s some product comparisons from a few categories:

FROZEN VEGGIES – amazing that frozen spinach is a perfect score, and adding some low fat sauce makes it complete crap.

  • Birds Eye Frozen Chopped Spinach  100
  • Green Giant Frozen Creamed Spinach in Low Fat Sauce 34

CEREAL – I keep saying Kashi is not God’s gift to the world, finally some proof.

  • Post Shredded Wheat Original 91
  • Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes 29

CRACKERS – Wheat Thins, I used to love you, but you are nutritionally void.

  • Ryvita Rye & Oat Bran Crisbread 87
  • Nabisco Wheat Thins Reduced Fat 25

Truly revolutionary stuff.

What do you think: Can this help America’s obesity problem? Or at least help consumers make better, quicker choices at the store?