The NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System helps you cut through confusing nutrition information so you can make decisions about food quickly and easily – and feel good about your choices.
Should you buy wheat or oatmeal bread? Are pretzels more nutritious than tortilla chips? These are the decisions that NuVal scores can help you make – in seconds – as you're walking down your Food Pyramid aisles. The NuVal System provides comprehensive nutritional information in one simple number between 1 and 100. The higher the score, the better the nutrition.
Some examples of NuVal in action:
Q: What is NuVal?
A: The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System is a food scoring system that allows you to see – at a glance – the nutritional value of the food you buy. NuVal ranks all foods on a scale of 1 to 100; the higher the score, the better the nutrition. NuVal is a tool you can easily use while shopping at Food Pyramid to make more nutritious food choices.
Q: Why is Food Pyramid posting NuVal scores for foods?
A: NuVal provides nutritional guidance that you, our customers, have asked for. While customers appreciate the variety and selection Food Pyramid provides, our research has shown there's a growing demand for a simple, easy way to find the most nutritious foods on our shelves. NuVal offers nutritional transparency, is backed by solid science, and was created independent of food manufacturers, meaning it's a system you can trust. Recently, NuVal won the endorsement of the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), whose mission is to promote health and curb disease.
We see the NuVal system as an opportunity to do something good for public health in light of the growing rates of lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. While these trends are disturbing, the good news is that they are reversible, and NuVal can help.
Q: Who developed the NuVal system?
A: NuVal is a science-based food nutrition system that was created independent of Food Pyramid or any food manufacturer. A team of recognized nutrition and medical experts from leading universities and health organizations drove the development of the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI®) algorithm, which generates NuVal scores.
Funded by Griffin Hospital, a non-profit community hospital and teaching affiliate of the Yale University School of Medicine, located in Derby, CT, and home to the Yale -Griffin Prevention Research Center, this team— led by Dr. David Katz— worked for two years to develop the ONQI® algorithm.
Q: What specific nutrients and factors go into a NuVal Score?
A: The following nutrients and nutrition factors are used in determining a food's NuVal Score.
Q: Can NuVal be used for special diets (such as low sodium, low fat, etc.)?
A: NuVal does not reflect special diets, such as low fat or low sodium, and customers looking for specific nutrient levels will still need to review the Nutrition Facts Panel (NFP). However, a higher NuVal score generally reflects a lower quantity of negative nutrients such as sodium and fat.
Q: Are NuVal scores adjusted for "positive" additives such as probiotics?
A: NuVal does not give consideration to non-nutrient food additives at this time, such as probiotics or plant sterols because these items do not add or detract from the nutritional value. Of course, consumers may still benefit from these additives.
Q: Do NuVal Scores consider portion size?
A: No. Since the nutritional quality of a food does not vary with serving size, the NuVal System does not offer guidance for portion size. You still need to choose portion sizes of foods appropriate for your daily needs. However, because it factors in properties that influence satiety, foods that score well on the NuVal System can fill you up on fewer calories, and therefore may be a tool to help consumers consciously manage their own portions.
Q: How many products in a grocery store will have a NuVal Score?
A: It is our goal at Food Pyramid to have NuVal scores on as many items as possible. Most departments in Food Pyramid stores use NuVal scores, such as produce, cookies, crackers, dairy, meats, seafood, cereal, soft drinks, and frozen foods, and we are adding new scores all the time for new items as they become available.
If you have additional questions on NuVal, please visit nuval.com.