Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Gotta Work On My NuVal Scores
OK, I'll bite (so to speak).
Thanks to an item earlier this month on Toni Brayer's blog I got curious about Yale's list of Top 100 Foods for nutritional value, and about their scoring system, the NuVal Score produced via an algorithm called the ONQI (Overall Nutritional Quality Index).
It seems we can expect the NuVal scores of most items on our grocery lists to be posted in stores this fall. I'm interested in this latest iteration of how to pass judgment on our food intake (I guess the "glycemic index" fell out of fashion?). Doctors' education in nutrition is notoriously sub-par, so hey, NuVal, show me what you got.
The highest score, indicating most nutritious, is 100. I checked on their website to see how our most-frequently-bought grocery items did:
Red leaf lettuce 100
Green beans 100
Red onions 93
Salmon filet 87
Cod filet 82
Bay scallops 51
Boneless chicken breast 39
Pork tenderloin 35
Flank steak 34
Ground Sirloin (90/10) 30
Beef spareribs/pork baby back ribs 24
Hm. I thought corn was supposed to be pretty bad for you? (Incidentally, the ONQI isn't the only nutrient assessment tool available out there. Check out this Washington Post article for a different food guidance system developed by the Nutrient-Rich Foods Coalition. Hat tip to registered dietitian Karen Kafer of the National Dairy Council for the links!)
The good news is that although we do eat and enjoy red meat and chicken on occasion, we are mostly fishetarians, so if we can just ratchet up the fruits and veggies we'll be in better nutritional shape.
The bad news is, we do have guilty pleasures (bacon, apple pie, bread), and they are at the bottom of the list, of course. :(
*Sigh...* Why, all of a sudden, are visions of all-butter thumbprint cookies, red velvet cupcakes, opera gateaux, and chocolate squares dancing in my head...? :)