Making Nutrition Easy By Comparing Food With A Scoring System

There's a new system that's making it a lot easier for you to compare foods based on their nutritional value.

It's called NuVal and as Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers found out, it can be found in grocery stores right here in Texoma.

"More and more people are reading the labels and the NuVal system just helps with that," Market Street store director Larry Martin said.

The NuVal scoring system rates foods based on good and bad nutrients. Like fiber, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins versus trans fat, cholesterol and sodium.

It's on a scale of one to 100. The higher the number, the better it is for you.

By only having to look at one number, it's making healthy choices a whole lot easier.

"People are so overwhelmed with front packaging and back labels and something say low in fat, or no Trans fat, but then it has the entire days worth of saturated fat. It's so confusing," Registered Dietitian Alicia Brown said.

Manufacturers have no say on the scores. The NuVal numbers are determined by third party experts.

"Scientific advisory panel of some of the leading scientists, dietitians doctors and was founded by Dr. David Katz out of Yale Griffin Hospital," Brown said.

You can find a product's number on the shelf price tag, making it easy to compare several items.

You may be surprised at what you find.

For example, a 90 calorie Special K bar scores a 3.  Fiber One bars are not marketed as low-fat, but, with a score of 27 is actually much better for you.

"We've been trained that if it has green coloring and says reduced fat that is the product we should be going for, but in all reality, reduced fat has higher sodium and sugar and less fiber, they've added that to make it taste better," Brown said.

Another good example of that is peanut butter.

Regular gets a 20 while reduced fat only a seven.

Even if everything you buy isn't a perfect number, the idea is to at least move up.

"If you're eating cereal that is an 11 and I can get you to a 17 that is a good day and the program has worked," Brown said.

The NuVal system is in place at United Market Street on Kell in Wichita Falls.

About 80 percent of the products in the store have been scored but they are still working to expand the system.

All United stores hope to have the NuVal system in place by the first of the year.

 Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6