my shopping trip

Ever since Tina started working at NuVal, I have been very intrigued about their system.  It is a pretty cool system that was designed by a team of recognized nutrition and medical experts.  They score different foods, and place their scores next to the price of the item on the grocery store shelf.

Here is the more in depth explanation from the NuVal website:

NuVal Scores summarize comprehensive nutritional information in one simple number between 1 and 100.  Each NuVal Score takes into account more than just the nutrition fact panel.  It considers 30-plus nutrients and nutrition factors – the good (protein, calcium, vitamins) and the not-so-good (sugar, sodium, cholesterol).  And then it boils it down into a simple, easy-to-use number; a number you can trust to make better decisions about nutrition in just a few seconds.

I think that this system is great!  And, I hope that it will help people to chose healthier foods for themselves and their families.  It is the easiest system to use!  I normally pick what I think are healthy foods when I grocery shop, but I was still surprised at some of the numbers.

I have read the NuVal website and all about the system, and I have been keeping up with Tina’s other blog, Trading Up Downtown, but I still wanted to see the numbers in action!  So, I took a trip to the nearest Price Chopper store, which was a good 35 minutes away to do my weekly shopping.

I walked into the store with my grocery list in hand to make the following meals for the week, which required a lot of different ingredients, so I knew this would have me all over the store to check out the numbers.

My first stop was the produce department.  I walked around all of the fruits and veggies, with most of them being in the 90’s (!!).  Pineapple scored a 100, which is awesome since I have been eating dried pineapple non-stop since I got my dehydrator!  And, most apples scored a 93!  I was psyched since I buy the majority of my food in the produce department.  Then, I came across lettuce.  Now, I know as much as the next person that the darker the green, the more nutrients the lettuce has, but I was shocked to see such a big difference!

Iceberg scores an 82, while Romaine scores a 100!!!

I felt good knowing that my lettuce scores a 100 (especially since I usually pick arugula, or red leaf or something even darker)!  How much healthier can you get?! 🙂

Next up, nuts, of course!

Once again, I would normally choose raw nuts over roasted, because I like to roast them myself, but was shocked at the huge difference in scores!

Raw almonds score an 81, while Roasted score a 48!!  I will definitely always pick raw nuts after seeing those scores – and may reconsider toasting them before adding to salads!

Here are some other shockers (to me, at least!):

I was bumbed that Amy’s Black Bean and Corn Salsa (my fav!) only scores a 35

…but, was shocked to find that Green Mountain Gringo’s veggie salsa only scores a 9!!!  Tostitos brand was only a little better at a 14 or 15.  I guess I was picking the right salsa, after all!

And, if you need another reason to eat your brown rice: White rice scores a 48, but brown rice scores an 82!

I never thought that there would be such a difference in beans, but there was!  My favorite Chick Peas only score a 58, while Eden Organics Pinto Beans score a whopping 100!!!  Maybe I’ll need to revamp some recipes to use those instead!

Another shocker was that my favorite Rolled Oats scored a 50, while the Museli scored an 83.  Guess what I picked for my oats of choice for the week?!  The museli – and it is actually even more delicious than my oats!

My husband and I both love Raisin Bran.  We don’t buy it a lot, but when we do we try to pick a healthier brand.  I didn’t take pictures of them all, but every type of Raisin Bran on the shelf only scored a 26-29!!!  It didn’t matter what kind you bought?!  Crazy!

I opted for plain greek yogurt (NuVal score = 94), instead of the vanilla (NuVal score = 73).  But, I’m not sure adding my own toppings helps the score of the plain!

And, unsalted PB (NuVal score = 49) is much better than salted PB (NuVal score = 36)!  I’m still not sure why peanut butter doesn’t have a higher score though?  Maybe it is peanuts?  Would almond butter score higher?

This was a really fun shopping trip!  It’s great to see other people using the scores as well.  One woman came up to me as I was taking pictures (yup, that’s me, the wierdo taking pictures in a grocery store!), and told me how much she loved NuVal!  I thought that was great, and made sure to pass it along to Tina!

I don’t think I’ll travel to Price Chopper again to do my shopping, but I will have the NuVal system in my head.  I think it is am awesome system and hopefully more stores will use them in the future!

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8 Responses

  1. I loved seeing all the numbers in this post! You have really opened my eyes up. I agree it is a great system. I would love to see it in BC. It made me very happy to see that the exact beans I served last night Eden Organic Pinto Beans scored 100, yay! Fun post!

  2. […] out Jen’s wonderful post about her shopping experience with NuVal and PriceChopper. She shares a lot of […]

  3. Jen –
    Great post about NuVal at Price Chopper! I work for NuVal – and write a blog about my experiences choosing healthy foods for my family – and I did not realize that those almonds scored so low. Rachel Rodek, MS, RD, LDN and Nutrition Communications Manager for NuVal just investigated the almonds for me. Apparently those roasted unsalted almonds contain some peanut oil. Too bad! That’s what I’ve been buying. Now, I know that I should buy the raw and roast them myself.

    Thanks for this great post!

    Melissa

    • Thanks, Melissa. VERY interesting about the almonds – I know which ones I will always buy from now on! Love your blog! I check it out all the time!

  4. […] by Jen Check out the post on A Better Bag of Groceries from today!  Melissa liked my post on NuVal last week, so she talks about some of my […]

  5. […] scoring system, but I assumed that it was similar to the NuVal scores.  Remember my post about my shopping trip?  There were scores on various products all throughout the store, including a few signs to alert […]

  6. I Just bookmarked your blog! I Have it right up there on my task bar 🙂 Thanks again for another great post. Chester Policastro

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