Monthly Featured Strategy
February 2011 – Healthy Living: The Heart of the Family
Meijer wants to help families make healthy food choices. And we have a variety of free resources to assist you.
NuVal – Nutritional Scoring System
In every Meijer store, we have introduced NuVal, an easy-to-use, science-based nutrition scoring system. NuVal considers more than 30 nutrients in products and boils the information down into one single number that can be used to compare foods. Scores range from 1 to 100. The higher the nutritional value, the higher the NuVal score. Look for NuVal scores on the shelf price tags of your favorite store brand and national brand products and easily compare them to make healthier choices.
The American College of Preventative Medicine (ACPM), a leading organization of some of the country’s top physicians committed to preventing disease and promoting health, officially endorsed the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System in 2010 as an easy and effective way to help customers learn about the foods they buy.
Also, a study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in April of 2010 showed that foods recommended in the popular Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) correspond to the higher-scored items ranked by the NuVal nutritional scoring system. Thus, this study validates NuVal as a measure of overall nutrition quality.
With this information in mind, NuVal can help you find healthier foods for your heart. The “unfavorable nutrients” that bring down the score of a food product include sodium, trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol – nutrients that are not good for your heart. The “generally favorable nutrients” that increase the NuVal score of a product include omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and vitamin and minerals – things that are good for your heart.
It’s easy – Use NuVal to “trade up” foods to get a higher score at your next meal. For example:
· Flavored Instant Oatmeal Score 16; Old Fashioned Oats Score 57
· Regular Canned Peas Score 33; No Added Salt Canned Peas Score 96
· Granola Bars Score 10; 25% Less Sugar Chocolate Chip Granola Bars Score 26
Remember to have a meal plan with a variety of foods from the different food groups to get all of the nutrients that your body needs. The NuVal™ System is a resource that can help you choose healthier options in each food category.
We can all help our hearts by eating better and by being more physically active. Start by making small, gradual changes to your routine. Try these ideas for increasing your fiber intake, and decreasing your saturated fat and sodium intake. The menus at the end of the booklet show you how to incorporate these tips in to your meals.
Increase fiber by:
· Using brown rice instead of white rice.
· Choosing 100% whole wheat bread instead of white bread.
· Adding black beans or kidney beans to salads, soups, casseroles or side dishes.
· Enjoying light popcorn for a snack.
· Choosing whole-grain cereals, such as oatmeal.
· Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables
o Add sliced bananas or strawberries to your Kellogg’s Fiber Plus Cinnamon Oat Crunch Cereal.
o Sprinkle raisins on your oatmeal
o Top your yogurt or pudding with fresh or frozen blueberries
Limit fat by:
· Choosing skim (fat free) or 1% milk instead of whole milk.
· Watching serving sizes.
· Selecting lighter versions of foods such as light yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese.
· Using canola oil or olive oil when preparing foods. These oils are higher in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Decrease salt by:
· Looking for ‘no salt added’ canned vegetables.
· Draining and rinsing canned beans before using them in recipes.
· Using herbs and seasonings instead of salt at the table and in recipes.
· Looking for low sodium broth, soup, crackers and other food items.
· Choosing foods that are naturally low in sodium such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
More for information and tips, visit the Healthy Living tab on meijermealbox.com.
Posted on Sun, February 20, 2011
by Healthy Living Dietitians filed under