Let Yale Tell You What to Eat

Experts have simplified food ratings by giving everything a number

We all know that potato chips aren't great for you, while blueberries, broccoli and shrimp are, but nutrition goes much deeper than that.

And, while most of us are trying to eat healthier, we don't take time to sift through all the nutrition facts while we're at the grocery store. Fortunately, a doctor affiliated with Yale and his team did it for us and created a new food rating system that is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

It's NuVal -- the "Overall Nutritional Quality Index" -- and it takes all the good and bad things about a particular food and averages its nutritional worth into a number between one and 100. 

Foods that get a one -- Salerno The Original Butter Flavored Cookies -- are deemed to have poor nutritional value, while 100 -- Del Monte Fresh French Green Beans No Salt Added (canned) -- indicates a highly nutritional food.

The scores are based on more than just the nutrition fact panel. The index considers 30-plus nutrients and nutrition factors – the good (protein, calcium, vitamins) and the not-so-good (sugar, sodium, cholesterol). Then, it boils it down into a simple, easy-to-use number you can use to make better decisions about nutrition.

Medical and nutrition experts, led by Dr. David Katz of the Yale Prevention Research Center, came up with the plan in response to growing numbers of patients living with obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

The program is rolling out at supermarkets, including the Big Y.

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