Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!


I wish you all a Happy (and safe!) Halloween! Yesterday at work, a few of us dressed up and snapped a shot. I, am the banana. Not the most flattering of looks on me, but all too appropriate seeing as I'm a dietitian :)





Before I settled in for college football and trick-or-treaters, I got in a good run and dashed out to do my errands. And of course, that included not only a trip to the grocery store...but also to the health foods store! Needless to say, I got lots of goodies. With husband gone most of the week, I wanted some easy meals for one and enough balanced "snack foods" that I could just snack for dinner since I'm flying solo. Check it out!


 Here we see: USDA organic Acai juice (can't wait to try it!), all-natural Pineapple Coconut juice (it's low in calories, surprisingly and I also cannot wait to try it!), Apricot Pumpkin Butter (my new favorite food -- AWESOME in oatmeal!), fat-free cottage cheese (I was CRAVING cottage cheese and pineapple!), 100% resveratol juice (only 130 calories for 10 ounces!), POM (per the recommendation of Candid RD!!), and skim milk way back there (next to the beer, haha!)

Moving over a bit in the fridge you can see...

USDA organic Oregon Chai (yummmm! I haven't spoiled myself with any in QUITE some time!), fresh salsa, and my favorite hummus: Sabra Classic Hummus (I'm making falafel at some point this week!)


I also got: low-calorie/high-fiber noodles, Terra chips (YUMMMMMMM!), USDA organic wheat pizza crust, organic old-fashioned oats, lots of ZEVIA!, a HUGE mango, kiwi, pears, bananas, limes, salmon, pumpkin puree, and HALLOWEEN CANDY!!!!!



My (cheap) husband bought Nerds, Bubba gum, Smarties, Jaw Breakers, and Lemonheads. I was afraid our HOUSE would get EGGED if we didn't include any CHOCOLATE!!!!! So, he left town and I bought chocolate : )


Anyways...Lily and I are ready for trick-or-treaters, as you can see!


And my fruit basket is looking ready for the week, as well...



And just as I was getting ready to press "Publish Post"....my doorbell rang. Package for Nicole. It was my Nutridel cookies! After reading about Nutridel cookies on Jenny's blog, I just had to try them. 






And they are DELICIOUS! I ordered the assorted pack of 28 packages (2 cookies per package). The flavors are: pecan, flaxseed, almond, and oatmeal. I tried the flaxseed and it was SOOOO good!! 57 calories a cookie! They are all-natural, cholesterol free, contain no trans fat, are dairy-free, and contain no refined sugar. The cookies are high in fiber (3 grams!) and contain antioxidants and omega-3's. And, they are GOOD!



Welp, it's time to commit my full attention to football. Yesterday's diet was about the same as the day before, so I will spare you! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!



Friday, October 30, 2009

It's 5 o'clock somewhere!


I have a little routine on Friday afternoons after a busy work week: a beer.



MSNBC published an article on Tuesday entitled, "Is it beer-flavored water or water-flavored beer?" In recent years there have been efforts made in creating a lighter beer which is lighter in calories. Most standard beers have approximately 150 calories and are 5% alcohol by volume while domestic light beers contain approximately 100 calories and 4% alcohol by volume [1].


Miller came out with MGD 64 as of somewhat recently, a 64-calorie beer for a standard 12-ounce serving. And most recently, Anheuser-Busch InBev's Select 55 hit the market -- a 55-calorie beer for a standard 12-ounce serving. Both beers contain approximately 3% alcohol by volume [1].


While I have tried MGD 64, I am yet to try Select 55. MGD was acceptable, not great. Personally, I drink because I LOVE the taste of both beer and wine. So while producers are creating these low-calorie beers, I can't help but wonder, what population are they catering to?


Most people drinking beer are doing so for one of several reasons:
1. Because they like the taste of beer and probably will drink what they prefer, in which case they will probably prefer a beer with average to above average flavor.

2. To get a buzz or to get drunk, in which case a 3% alcohol beer by volume would not assist them in their goal.
3. To be social and have a drink with friends or family, in which case a lower-calorie and less flavorful beer would be acceptable. HOWEVER, those who are extremely health conscious or watching their weight would probably opt NOT to consume calories by means of alcohol.


What do you think? As the article goes on to explain, the population of consumers desiring lower calorie, lower alcohol content beer is marginal at best. Interesting, anyways. At least it's an option for consumers who would opt for a Select 55 or MGD 64 over a regular beer just because.

Yesterday's diabetic diet went like so...


Breakfast:
2 whole wheat waffles (2 carbs)
2 Tbsp peanut butter (0 carbs)
1 banana (2 carbs)
     Total: 4 carbs


Lunch:
tuna salad wrap in a spinach tortilla with tomatoes and lettuce (2 carbs)
1 serving baby carrots (0 carbs)
cucumber slices (0 carbs)
6 ounce fat-free Greek yogurt (1 carb)
     Total: 3 carbs


Dinner:
1 cup spaghetti squash (2 carbs)
2 Tbsp pine nuts (0 carbs)
1/2 cup marinara (1 carb)
4 ounces of broiled tilapia (0 carbs)
     Total: 3 carbs


Snack:
1 cup skim milk (1 carb)
1 sheet of graham crackers (1 carb)
     Total: 2 carbs

No real plans for the weekend. Husband is headed out of town so it's just the puppy and I. I'm planning to get in a few good workouts and catch up on sleep...as much as the puppy will allow, anyways. Have a wonderful start to your weekend!



[1]. Associated Press. Is It Beer-Flavored Water or Water-Flavored Beer? MSNBC. October 27, 2009.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Butternut Squash Sauce...B12 & Weight Loss...Dental Health and Halloween...National Peanut Board

Happy Hump Day! I can't decide what I want to blog about today, so I am blogging about 4 completely unrelated things: Butternut Squash Sauce, B12 and weight loss, the best Halloween candy to consume to preserve your dental health, and blog post recognition from the National Peanut Board. And of course, my diabetic diet from yesterday (2 days to go!). So, here we go...


Last night I decided to make a modified version of a Butternut Squash Sauce recipe I ran across while perusing the Weight Watchers recipe board.




First I peeled and seeded one large butternut squash. I cubed the squash and simmered it for about 30 minutes in 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock with 6 cloves of crushed garlic, fresh ground pepper, and 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar. I added about 2/3 cup fresh chopped basil leaves about 20 minutes into the cooking process.





 
While my squash was simmering, I enjoyed a DELICIOUS (best beer ever??) Southampton Pumpkin Ale. YUMMMYYY!!!



 
Once my squash was nice and tender, I blended it into a thick paste.



I added the Butternut Squash Sauce to some whole wheat tube noodles. I topped the dish off with goat cheese crumbles and pine nuts (not pictured).


Question: Does this sound or look appetizing to you? My dear, dear husband ate this creation, Lord love him. The taste and flavors were WONDERFUL, but the consistency was that of baby food. What should I do differently next time?


In other news...B12 injections and weight loss. I feel the need to address this because I see SO many patients who hear that B12 injections will induce weight loss. This is COMPLETELY FALSE. Here's what Mayo Clinic has to say about B12 and weight loss...

Question: Vitamin B-12 injections for weight loss: Do they work?

Answer from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

There's no evidence that vitamin B-12 in any form — including vitamin B-12 injections — enhances weight loss. One study published in 2005 suggested that people who took a number of different supplements, including vitamin B-12, gained weight more slowly over a 10-year period than did those who took no supplements. However, many factors must be considered when interpreting the study results, including the fact that people who take dietary supplements tend to be more health conscious — which may contribute to better weight management. 

If you're hoping to lose weight, resist the lure of quick and easy solutions. What counts is a healthy lifestyle. Enjoy healthier foods and include physical activity in your daily routine.

Verdict from this RD: "If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is!"

And...dental health for Halloween candy?

As an avid Julie Deardorff reader, I was happy to see this article in the Chicago Tribune today featuring the best and worst candy for your TEETH! New research is showing that the first line of defense in preventing cavities is xylitol-containing candies and gums. So, the low down on candy....

BAD ENOUGH
(Examples: Pixy Stix, Sweet Tarts)
Trick: Yes, Pixy Stix are a sack of sugar. But if poured directly on the tongue, it won’t touch teeth, leaving nothing for cavity-causing bacteria to feed on. Powdery candy also dissolves quickly, before bacteria can cause damage.

Why this scares dentists: There is no such thing as “best” candy for teeth.

BAD BAD
(Examples: Hershey’s Kisses, M&M’s)
Trick: Chocolate, which won’t stick to teeth for long periods of time, contains calcium, which could help protect tooth enamel. Research shows dark chocolate with at least 65 percent cocoa content is a potent antioxidant. Still, moderation and timing are important. “It’s better to eat four chocolates at one time rather than having one chocolate every three to four hours,” said Dr. Girish Herekar, a dental expert for justanswer.com.

Why this scares dentists: At room temperature, chocolate clings to tooth enamel. When it melts, it sinks into the crevices of teeth. Try freezing it to make it better for your teeth.

AHHH! BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD!
(Examples: Snickers, Almond Joy, Twix)
Trick: Caramel, nougat and other fillings add sugar, which may erase chocolate’s benefits.

Why this scares dentists:  Candy with fruit or nuts is “sticky and can get caught in the pits and grooves of teeth, causing decay,” said Dr. Julie Barna, a spokeswoman for the Academy of General Dentistry.

DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Examples: jelly beans, candy corn, Dots, Tootsie Roll, Skittles)
Trick: It takes longer to eat, so you may eat less. But the higher the melting temperature something has, the worse it is for teeth.

Why this scares dentists: “If a 5-year-old ate an orange jelly bean and didn’t brush, I could look three hours later and still see orange in the grooves of his teeth,” Weinstein said. “Sticky, chewy candies linger there for hours and can create a higher acid content, which allows the bacteria to feast.”

 Question: What's YOUR favorite Halloween candy? I'm a Twix and Butterfinger fan. Almond Joy, too. Oops! Ironic - I scheduled my dentist appointment TODAY.


And lastly, I received an AWESOME email from the National Peanut Board today! The email read:


Dear Nicole,

I want to thank you for posting the Q&A on peanut butter. It’s always great to hear a dietitian’s point of view on the healthful benefits of peanuts and peanut butter. The charts you provided were also wonderful. I will keep them on hand for future reference. I enjoyed your post so much I posted the link on my company’s, the National Peanut Board, Facebook fan page. You can check it out here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Peanut-Board/63476447613#/pages/National-Peanut-Board/63476447613

I would like to send you some nutritional information on peanuts and peanut butter and some peanut flour. Peanut flour is an emerging product from the peanut industry and is different from peanuts and peanut butter. In order to make the flour, fat must be removed during the process, making it a lower fat product that still contains all the protein and nutrients peanuts have. It can be used in many cooking applications from baking to soups, sauces, desserts and beverages. If you would like to try some please send me your address and I will ship it out to you.

Thank you again for the post!

All the best,
Lindsay Spencer  

Lindsay Spencer
Communications Coordinator | National Peanut Board

Tel | (678) 424-5753
Fax | (678) 424-5751
­­­­_______________________________________________

I, of course, happily responded with my address. What a cool email to receive, huh? I've also asked Jenny of PB & Jenny to write a guest post on peanut butter. We'll see what she comes up with for us! Check out her blog, it's fun!

As for my diabetic diet yesterday, it went something like this...


Breakfast:

1 serving mini shredded wheat (3 carbs)
1 cup skim milk (1 carb) 
     Total: 4 carbs


Lunch:
2 cups chicken noodle soup (1 carb)
6 ounces fat-free Greek yogurt (1 1/2 carbs)
1 small apple (1 carb)
     Total: 3 1/2 carbs

Dinner (it was totally a random meal...)

1 chicken enchilada with black beans, chicken, 2% shredded cheese, and enchilada sauce (2 carbs)
1/3 cup whole wheat pasta (1 carb)
3 Tbsp Butternut Squash Sauce (<1 carb)
     Total: 3.25 carbs


Snack: 
1 graham cracker (1 carb)
1 Tbsp peanut butter (0 carbs)


Side note: Today was taste test #6 or 7 at work -- Buffalo Chicken Lasagna and it was a HUGE hit! I had the most participants to date -- 15!!! :)


Long...post...sorry...!!!





Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reader Question: Peanut Butter

I received an EXCELLENT question this morning from a reader. She asked:


Q: I am trying to vary my snack routine, and I keep hearing that peanut butter is a great snack to enjoy on an apple or whole wheat toast. I have avoided peanut butter in the past because it has a lot of fat and calories, but I wanted to get a dietitian's point of view. I would love to see a blog post about the health pros and cons of peanut butter and recommend certain things to look for when buying PB to keep it on the healthy side. Thanks!


A: Firstly, I completely understand the confusion surrounding peanut butter and healthfulness. Peanut butter does have a LOT of calories and fat! However, peanut butter is actually a very balanced food item when used in moderation (i.e. 2 tablespoons). While a serving of peanut butter will run you 190-200 calories, you're getting a lot for the "cost" including plentiful amounts of monounsaturated fats (those are the REALLY good fats), polyunsaturated fats (good fats!), 8 grams of protein, approximately 4 grams of fiber, and a mere 1 gram of sugar. Natural peanut butter is cholesterol-free and low in sodium. Here's a nifty chart from the USDA on peanuts and peanut butter...



 There are a few things to be aware of when purchasing and using peanut butter, however....


- Buy natural peanut butter. Peanut butter containing "hydrogenated oil" or "partially hydrogenated oil" contains trans fat (that's the REALLY BAD kind). Buying a natural form of peanut butter insures that it is trans fat-free. Check your labels and ingredient lists to be sure!

- Measure your portions! Two tablespoons is a generous portion, but peanut butter is easily a food that can get a bit plentiful in portion sizing over time.
- When adding peanut butter to a snack, pair it with a low-calorie food item as to have a healthy snack that's relatively low in calories. Examples: celery, pretzels, crackers, fruit, etc.
- Every thing in moderation. No single food should comprise the bulk of your diet or nutrient intake.


Verdict: Thumbs up! Shop smart and watch portions as always! Personally, I opt for All-Natural Jiff.


As for the diabetic diet, I'm pluggin' along. Yesterday ended up like this:


Breakfast:
1 egg, cooked in Pam (0 carbs)

1 Arnold's bread thin (1 1/2 carbs)
2 Morning Star Vegetarian sausage patties (1 carb)
6 ounces low-sugar toffee cappuccino (1 carb)
     Total: 3 1/2 carbs


Lunch:
1 serving chili (1 carb)
1 banana (2 carbs)
baby carrots (0 carbs)
1 Vita Top Muffin (1 carb)
     Total: 4 carbs


Dinner:
2 cups chicken noodle soup (1 carb)
1/2 acorn squash (2 carbs)
2 tsp Splenda brown sugar (1 carb)
2 Tbsp Smart Balance Light (0 carbs)
     Total: 4 carbs


Snack:
6 wheat tortilla chips (1 carb)
1/3 avocado (0 carbs)

3 more days of diabetic dieting! Have a great night, thanks for reading!


P.S. Meredith: I am not a CDE...yet! I am working on racking up the hours to sit for the CDE exam and I work with a population where I see a LOT of diabetics. I hope to get become a CDE within the next 2 years and I am SO excited about it! As passionate as I am about weight loss, I LOVE working with diabetics. It is fascinating!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Treatment

New research suggests that treating type 2 diabetes with insulin therapy + metformin improves outcomes when compared to the traditional exercise, weight loss, and oral hypoglycemic agent drugs when needed. Three years into a 6-year study at the University of Texas’s Southwestern Medical Center, results showed that the insulin-treated group had fewer hypoglycemic episodes, gained less weight, and reported high treatment satisfaction [1].

While an abundance of my patients state that they will never take shots, I found this research interesting. As a clinician, I am deeply concerned about hypoglycemic episodes for patients on insulin regimens. Without the fundamental understanding of carbohydrates, carbohydrate counting, and insulin dosing, insulin therapy can open flood gates of displeasures and dangers. This research, however, recommends a sliding-scale of insulin dosing which is determined based on blood sugar readings [1].

Interestingly, the International Diabetes Foundation states that 3.8 million people will die from diabetes and related illnesses each year. With the number of diabetics growing from 20 million to 246 million in the past 20 years, diabetes is without a doubt a growing disease state among the US and other countries. The highest increases in diabetes cases are occurring in developing worlds, such as India (40.9 million) and China (39.8 million) [1]. I would’ve never guessed.

Yesterday's diabetic diet went like this...


Breakfast:
2 whole wheat waffles (2 carbs)
2 Tbsp apple butter (1 carb)
cappuccino with 2 Tbsp sugar-free International Delight (0 carbs)
     Total: 3 carbs


Lunch:
1 serving chili (1 carb)
6 wheat crackers (1 carb)
1 small apple (1 carb)
8 oz. V8 Fusion Light (1 carb)
     Total: 4 carbs


Dinner:
1 cup mini shredded wheats (2 1/2 carbs)
1 cup skim milk (1 carb)
     Total: 3 1/2 carbs


Snack:
1 small banana (1 carb)

1 cup skim milk (1 carb)
     Total: 2 carbs
 

[1]. Research Points to New Way to Treat Type 2 Diabetes: Insulin First. Diabetes in Control. October 21, 2009.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oktoberfest 2009


While my husband has had the pleasure and honor of attending THE Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany...the Tulsa Oktoberfest was no disappointment. Laden with all traditional food, beverage, music, and dance! While I thoroughly enjoy both food and beverage, the highlight was surely the traditional music and dance. I don't believe I can count on my 20 digits alone how many times we did the Chicken Dance. While it was a forbidden "DON'T PLAY" for our wedding DJ, I sure had fun doing it last night with friends and thousands of Tulsans.


Here are some low-quality pictures. Apologies, my camera battery died, so I had to take them with my phone.


 
 Pitchers in the air!


 
Awesome German Band playing traditional German music


Sadly, however, husband informed us that at THE Oktoberfest music is not typically played. Whereas Tulsa's Oktoberfest had lots of tents, of varying sizes, playing a variety of music. Our tent we believed to be the largest and held SEVERAL thousand dancing fools by the time we left.


The food and drink were wonderful as well, but my dietitian tummy was upset after consuming so much FAT last night. I tried the funnel cake and brat with kraut. While it was delicious, it did not agree with me!!


Between the 5 of us we were able to try several traditional beers, too. On tap they had Spaten Oktoberfest, Samuel Adams Oktoberfest (probably not so traditional), Franziskaner, Spaten Pils, Spaten Premium, Spaten Optimator, and Oktoberfest Lager. Mmmm!


Hockey game tonight - excited!


Yesterday ended up like this...


Breakfast:
1 cup oatmeal, prepared (2 carbs)
1 cup skim milk (1 carb)
2 Tbsp pumpkin butter (1 carb)
1/2 ounce pecans (0 carbs)
     Total: 4 carbs


Lunch:
1 1/2 cups chili (1 carb)
6 wheat crackers (1 carb)
8 ounces V9 Fushion Light (1 carb)
     Total: 3 carbs


Snack:
2% cheese stick (0 carbs)


Dinner:
1/3 small funnel cake (2 carbs)
1/2 bratwurst with saurkraut (1 carb)
3 German beers (2 carbs)
     Total: 5 carbs - over!


Snack:
1/2 cup shredded wheat (1 carb)
1/2 cup skim milk (1/2 carb)
     Total: 1 1/2 carbs

Saturday, October 24, 2009

#1 Chili

People get very competitive about their culinary delights. Above all, I would consider chili a dish open to much debate. In the past, my chili has been very heavy on the beans and tomatoes and lighter on the meat (generally, I used 93% lean ground beef). Recently, however, I have had a change of heart and admitted chili recipe defeat.



During this (pathetic) college football season, our friends treated us to their version of chili, and man...it is GOOD! I would consider this chili VERY hearty and "manly", in the stereotypical sense of the term: meaty. The meat, however, is very lean and not red meat, but rather, 98% lean ground turkey and lean boneless, skinless chicken breasts.


In hopes of having a decent Illini game to watch this weekend (so far, status quo), I made the chili last night. While it's rather laborious, it is totally worth it! I am yet to calculate the nutrition information, but it is extremely low in fat and high in protein. I do have a feeling that it's somewhat high in sodium, however. 


So, here's how it goes...


"Josh and Tiffany's Chili"


Main Batch
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground turkey, lean
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, chunked
14 ounces low-sodium beef broth
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 large green pepper, diced
1/2 large sweet onion, diced


Batch One
1 Tbsp onion powder
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 jalapeno, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 can kidney beans, drained


Batch Two
5 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp brown sugar


Batch Three
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin


In a large heavy bottom pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat, pepper, and onion and cook until meat is browned. Drain off drippings. Add the rest of the main batch and simmer for 1 hour. Add all of the ingredients from Batch One, stir and simmer for 35 minutes. Add Batch Two to the pot and cook for an additional 20 minutes, stirring often. Add Batch Three and cook for 10 more minutes before serving.

Diabetic diet yesterday went like this...


Breakfast:
1 cup mini shredded wheat (3 carbs)
1 cup skim milk (1 carb)
stevia (0 carbs)
     Total: 4 carbs


Lunch:
2 cups homemade chicken noodle soup (1 carb)
6 wheat crackers (1 carb)
1/2 pomegranate (1 carb)
1 small banana (1 carb)
     Total: 4 carbs


Dinner:
1 serving Frito Twists (1 carb)
1 1/2 cups Josh and Tiffany's Chili (1 carb)
2/3 cup Greek yogurt (1 carb)
     Total: 3 carbs


Snack:
1 small apple (1 carb)
1 Tbsp peanut butter (0 carbs)




Question: How would you describe your favorite chili dish? Beany? Meaty? Salty? Spicy? Loaded with vegetables? Beefy? Vegetarian?



Off for a bowl...have a great Saturday!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Giveaway Winner!


Meredith of Pursing Balance drew my name as her giveaway winner. Thank you, Meredith! In addition to great giveaways, she also writes one great blog! Check it out!


Here's what I won! 
Picture taken from Meredith of Pursuing Balance



My winnings:
  • Whey Krisp Bar (with organic whey, peanut butter, and chia seeds)
  • Yogurt-coated Wild Berry Burst Energy Bar (with organic dates, sunflowerseed butter, soy protein, and honey)
  • Orange Greensicle stick pack (150% vitamin C, 100% calcium & Vitamin D)
  • Original Superfood stick pack (packed with 29 superfoods)
  • Wild Berry Burst stick pack (high in antioxidants)
  • Chia + Omega3 stick pack (high in fiber and omega 3)

Comfort

You know those times when something happens that quickly reacquaints you with the reality of how precious life is? Tonight was one of those instances. Deepest thoughts and prayers go out to my friend up north who is currently in critical condition. :( Tell the ones you love how much they mean to you...right now. Life's too short sometimes it seems.



It just happened that on tonight's dinner menu was THE comfort food of comfort foods: chicken noodle soup. Homemade. I used the high-fiber, low-calorie noodles I got from Akins a few weeks ago -- 2 ounces for 130 calories and 20 grams of fiber. Wowza!



 
 Steaming away...mmmmmm!


  
 Loaded with fresh celery, carrots, and lean chicken breast tidbits


Today at work, I had the priviledge of trying my first piece of fry bread...made into an "Indian Taco". Indian fry bread is a traditional Indian food consisting of a fried battery of flour, hot water, baking soda, and a pinch of sugar. It was sooo good! Obviously, however, it is a very much so consume-in-moderation food. Hello, saturated and trans fat!!


  
 Indian Fry Bread



 
 Indian Taco: Indian Fry Bread topped with chili, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and salsa. It was GOOD!


Yesterday's diet went like this...


Breakfast:
Fiber One Bar (2 carbs)
6 ounces fat-free QT cappuccino (1 carb)
1 small apple (1 carb)

     Total: 4 carbs


Lunch:
6" Subway turkey sub with all of the vegetable fixin's (3 carbs)
pickles (0 carbs)
     Total: 3 carbs


Snack:
banana (2 carbs)


Dinner:
1/2 small acorn squash (1 1/2 carbs)
1/2 ounce pecans (0 carbs)
2 tsp Splenda brown sugar (1 carb)
2 Tbsp Smart Balance Light (0 carbs)
1/2 cup chicken soup casserole (1 carb)
     Total: 3 1/2 carbs


Snack:
10 animal crackers (1 1/2 carbs)

2 Tbsp peanut butter (0 carbs)
     Total: 1 1/2 carbs

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

20 days down, 10 to go!

Day 20 (yesterday) I had my first big goof: I insisted on trying the pumpkin spice cappuccino mixed with my dark roast yesterday morning. Ends up, my 8 ounces of heaven cost me 30 grams of carbs (2 choices!)!!!! Oh, and that's not including my 2 carbs worth of steel cut oats and 1 carb worth of pumpkin butter. Oooops. Lesson learned. 


So, day 20 looked like this...


Breakfast:
1 cup steel cut oats, prepared (2 carbs)
1 Tbsp pumpkin butter (1 carb)
1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar (0 carbs)
8 ounces pumpkin spice cappuccino with 8 ounces dark roast coffee (2 carbs)
     Total: 5 carbs


Lunch:
1 serving Buffalo Chicken Lasagna (2 1/2 carbs)
6 ounces fat-free yogurt (1 1/2 carbs)
1/2 cup pea pods, raw (0 carbs)

     Total: 4 carbs


Snack:
1 serving baby carrots (0 carbs)

1 small apple (1 carb)
     Total: 1 carb


Dinner (8pm):
1-1 1/2 servings Chicken Tamale Casserole (3 1/2 carbs)
     Total: 3 1/2 carbs


"Snack":
8 ounces v8 Fusion Light mixed with water (1 carb)

This week has been INSANE at work (but I did manage a brief workout at lunch today!) and Miss Lily is very full of energy. After a 2-mile walk (that's FAR for a bulldog, by the way!) and shredding multiple boxes to hundreds of pieces...she was still full of energy last night. Needless to say, today was a camp day. However, you can see that she's just CHILLIN' in the lower left corner of this snap shot...just sun bathing the day away *eye roll*





Total random question -- What is your FAVORITE variety of apple


Me: Honeycrisp! They're in season right now and I can't get enough! At least one a day, mmmm!

And...another give away! This one looks tasty! Go here to enter!

NuVal Scores Galore


 I've talked about NuVal scores in the past. I put together a huge compilation of NuVal scores which were provided on their website, along with a preface discussing how the NuVal system works. I hope you find it interesting, I sure did!

Question: Does your local grocery store provide NuVal scores? I can't wait for them to come to Oklahoma!



FAQs: How the System Works

Q: How does the NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System work?
A: The NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System summarizes the overall nutritional value of food. It uses the Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intakes (quantitative reference values for recommended intakes of nutrients) and the Dietary Guidelines For Americans (advice from the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS, and the Department of Agriculture, USDA, about how good dietary habits can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases) to quantify the presence of more than 30 nutrients – including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants; sugar, salt, trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. The system also incorporates measures for the quality of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as calories and omega-3 fats. The NuVal™ System also takes into account how these nutrients influence health based on broadly accepted, published scientific literature.

Q: How is a NuVal™ Score calculated?
A: The NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System takes more than 30 different nutrients and nutrition factors into account when developing a Score, making it a very robust food rating system. The nutrient content for a food is processed through a complex algorithm developed through a rigorous process by a team of twelve experts. Boiled down to its simplest description, here is how the NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System works:
  • Nutrients with generally favorable effects on health are placed in the numerator, where higher values increase the NuVal™ Score.
  • Nutrients with generally unfavorable effects on health are placed in the denominator, where higher values decrease the NuVal™ score.
In addition to the numerator and denominator nutrients, the algorithm takes into account other key factors that measure the quality and density of nutrients, as well as the strength of their association with specific health conditions.

For example, trans fat has a very strong association with heart disease, a highly prevalent and serious condition. Therefore, the algorithm assigns a "weighting coefficient" to trans fat which substantially lowers the Score of foods containing it. Those weighting coefficients are determined by the prevalence, severity, and strength of association with health conditions.

The quality of macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbohydrates) is another key factor in the overall equation. Fat quality, protein quality, carbohydrate quality, and glycemic load (a measure of carbohydrate quality) are among the "universal adjustors" that can move a NuVal™ Score higher or lower. The higher the quality, the higher the Score.

Foods with higher nutrient density -- a significant amount of vitamins and mineral, but relatively few calories -- also receive extra credit and higher Scores. The greater a food's "trajectory" toward numerator nutrients (generally favorable) and away from denominator nutrients (generally unfavorable), the greater the Score.

Q: What specific nutrients and factors go into a NuVal™ Score?
A: The following nutrients and nutrition factors are used in determining a food’s NuVal™ Score
  • Nutrients considered to have generally favorable effects on health:
    • Fiber
    • Folate
    • Vitamin A
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin D
    • Vitamin E
    • Vitamin B12
    • Vitamin B6
    • Potassium
    • Calcium
    • Zinc
    • Omega-3 fatty acids
    • Total bioflavanoids
    • Total carotenoids
    • Magnesium
    • Iron
  • Nutrients with generally unfavorable effects on health
    • Saturated fat
    • Trans fat
    • Sodium
    • Sugar
    • Cholesterol
  • Additional entries
    • Protein quality
    • Fat quality
    • Glycemic load
    • Energy density
Q: How did you determine what nutrients to use?
A: Nutrients for inclusion in the NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System were selected based on their established relevance to public health as reported and published by the scientific community. For more detailed information on the inclusion of each nutrient, and a bibliography of sources upon which each decision was based, please contact us at experts@NuVal.com.



Yogurt

NuVal™ Scores for yogurt range from 22 to 99, with a median Score of 28*.

Yogurt Scores vary depending on the amount and type of fat the products contain, as well as the presence of sodium, sugar, calcium, and levels of vitamins A and D. Yogurts with the lowest scores have between 30 to 40 grams of sugar, which is equal to almost 10 teaspoons of sugar, as well as some saturated fat. Yogurts without saturated fat and added sugar tend to score the highest.

PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Breyers Light Yogurt, Boost Immunity Light Black Cherry Jubilee
99
Lightfull Smoothie, Mango Oasis
91
Dannon Activia Light Fat Free Blueberry
89
Weight Watchers Yogurt, White Chocolate Raspberry
87
Dannon Light 'n Fit Rasberry Yogurt
81
Yoplait Yogurt Light Fat Free Boston Cream Pie
66
Stonyfield Farm Organic Fat Free Black Cherry Fruit on the Bottom
64
Yoplait Light Fat Free Strawberry
60
Yoplait Light Thick & Creamy Peaches 'N Cream
59
Stonyfield Farm O'Soy Strawberry/peach
48
Yoplait Yo-Plus Strawberry Yogurt
40
Yoplait Go-Gurt, Burstin' Melon Berry
39
O Soy Blueberry Yogurt
35
Activia Plain Yogurt
34
Yoplait Trix, Burstin Berry
32
YoCrunch Yogurt, Cookies N Cream Oreo
29
YoCrunch Mild Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt with Chocolate Crunch
25
Dannon Yogurt, Activia Low Fat Mixed Berry
23
Brown Cow Cherry Vanilla Whole Milk Yogurt
23
Dannon Dan Active Probiotic Dairy Drink Immunity Blueberry
22




Bread

NuVal™ Scores for bread range from 2 to 81, with a median Score of approximately 25*.

Bread Scores vary with the content of whole grain, fiber, sugar, salt, and oil. Breads made from just whole grain flour, water, and yeast can earn very high Scores. Highly processed breads – those made from refined flours and with high additions of sugar, salt, and/or harmful fats – will score quite low. What is surprising is how different the NuVal Score can be from what is suggested by the name of a bread – i.e., “whole grain,” “whole wheat,” multi grain,” etc. But that simply reveals that what a bread is called, and what it is made out of, may be two very different things.

PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread
81
Alvarado Street Bakery Sprouted Flaxseed Bread
56
Arnold By Brownbery Natural Flax And Fiber Bread
48
Pepperidge Farm Natural Whole Grain 9 Grain Bread
40
Weight Watchers 100% Whole Wheat Bread
39
Country Kitchen Light Oatmeal Bread
36
Healthy Choice Hearty 7 Grain Bread
35
Country Kitchen All Natural Whole Grain 100% Whole Wheat Bread
32
Wonder Light White Bread
31
Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Whole Grain White Bread
28
Arnold Whole Grain Classics 100% Whole Wheat Bread
26
Sara Lee Honey Wheat Bread
24
Thomas' Cinnamon Swirl Toasting Bread
23
Wonder Big White Bread
23
J.J. Nissen Butter Top White Bread
19
Sara Lee Classic Dinner Roll 12 Count
16
Lender's Bagel Shop Bagels Cinnamon Raisin Swirl
14
Wonder Cinnamon Raisin Bread
8
Sara Lee Garlic Bread
5
Turano Old Fashion Italian Bread
2


Cereal

NuVal™ Scores for cereal range from 4 to 100, with a median Score of approximately 25*.

The very word “cereal” refers to cereal grains, and the most nutritious breakfast cereals of all contain just that – whole grain, and little or nothing else. At the other end of the spectrum, however, are products still called cereal, but with sugar as the first (and therefore most abundant) ingredient. As a result, the range of NuVal Scores in the cereal aisle is one of the largest in the entire supermarket. Scores in this category will tend to vary with whole grain content and fiber (more is better); and with additions of sugar, salt, and saturated or trans fat (less is better). In some cases, as with toasted rice or corn flake cereals, Scores may be relatively low partly because of what is added (such as sugar and salt), as well as what is taken away (parts of the whole grain).

PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Hodgson Mill Unprocessed Wheat Bran (Millers Bran)
100
Post Shredded Wheat Original
91
Kellogg's All-Bran Extra Fiber Natural Wheat Bran High Fiber Cereal
76
Kellogg's Special K Protein Plus
60
Kashi Golean High Protein & High Fiber Cereal
47
General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch with 75% reduced sugar
40
General Mills Whole Grain Guaranteed Cheerios
34
Post Shredded Wheat Frosted
31
Kellogg's All-Bran Complete Wheat Flakes
31
Post Honey Bunches Of Oats Cereal With Almonds
29
Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes
29
General Mills Whole Grain Guaranteed Total Raisin Bran
27
Quaker Life Cereal
25
Kellogg's Corn Flakes The Original & Best
25
Kellogg's Rice Krispies Toasted Rice Cereal
23
General Mills Whole Grain Guaranteed Basic 4
23
General Mills Whole Grain Garanteed Lucky Charms
23
Kashi Strawberry Fields
11
Cap'n Crunch Sweetened Corn & Oat Cereal
10
Peace Cereal Organic Low Fat Mango Passion Crisp Cereal
4
Cookies

NuVal™ Scores for cookies range from 1 to 40, with a median Score of approximately 3*.

Look at the range of NuVal Scores in the cookie aisle and you’ll see that while you may choose cookies just because you love them, you can still “trade up” to more nutritious options. Higher Scores in this category identify cookies with less sugar, less salt, less or no harmful oils, more fiber from whole grains, and vitamins and minerals from fruits and nuts. There is good nutrition for you even in the cookie aisle - and NuVal Scores make it easy for you find it.



PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Kashi Tlc Tasty Little Chewy Cookies Oatmeal Raisin Flax
40
Health Valley Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
34
Kraft South Beach Diet Peanut Butter Cookies Snack Pack
34
Nabisco Mini Teddy Grahams Honey Graham Snak-Saks
24
Pepperidge Farm Soft Baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
20
Keebler Chocolate Lovers Chips Deluxe Chocolate Chip Cookies
17
Nabisco Chips Ahoy Chunky White Fudge Chocolate Chip Cookies
17
Nabisco Fig Newtons Fat Free
13
Keebler Chips Deluxe Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
12
Nabisco Snackwells Crème Sandwich Cookies
12
Nabisco Teddy Grahams Chocolatey Chip
12
Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies With Pecans
10
Nabisco Nilla Wafers
8
Nabisco Oreo Double Stuf Cool Mint Crème
5
Nabisco Nutter Butter Big & Soft Cookies
4
Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs Alpha-Bits Cookies Mini Cookies
3
Pepperidge Farm Milano Oookies
3
Nabisco Chips Ahoy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
2
Archway Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Family Pack
1
Salerno Butter Cookies
1


Eggs and Egg Products

NuVal™ Scores for eggs and egg products range from 26 to 67, with a median Score of approximately 33*.

Eggs are a perfect protein source and provide many nutrients, but at a high cost in dietary cholesterol, which we are told to limit by the Dietary Guidelines, the DRIs, and all other sources of expert guidance. Some egg producers use a feeding process that can change the nutrient profile of the egg and – assuming they provide the data to support this – it may result in higher NuVal Scores for particular eggs in the future.

Egg substitutes that score higher than eggs do so because they retain many of the favorable nutrients in eggs – particularly the high quality protein – while eliminating their principal nutritional liability, cholesterol.

PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Papetti Foods Better'n Eggs Healthier Real Egg Product
67
Egg Beaters Egg Substitute Original
58
Papetti Foods Better'n Eggs Real Egg Product
53
Egg Beaters Egg Substitute Garden Vegetable
52
Egg Beaters Egg Substitute Southwestern
51
Eggs, Brown All Sizes
33
Eggs, White All Sizes
33
Land O Lakes All Natural Farm Fresh Grade A Brown Eggs
33
Land O Lakes Omega 3 Eggs, All Natural Large Grade A Brown
33
Egg Beaters Egg Substitute With Yolk
31
Egg Beaters 100% Liquid Egg Whites
26
Papetti Foods All Whites 100% Luquid Egg Whites
26











Frozen Vegetables

NuVal™ Scores for frozen vegetables range from 22 to 100, with a median Score of 91*.

Many frozen vegetables have no additives, so their Scores are the same or similar to those of fresh vegetables, varying with the concentration of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. However, frozen vegetables with added salt and salt-heavy seasonings, as well as those with fat- and salt-laden sauces, will have lower Scores. Hence, the wide range of Scores for frozen vegetables.

PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Birds Eye Frozen Chopped Spinach Box
100
Birds Eye Frozen Tender Broccoli Cuts Plastic Bag
100
Green Giant Frozen Cut Green Bean Steamable Bag
100
Green Giant Select Frozen Sugar Snap Peas Plastic Bag
96
La Choy Frozen Snow Pea Pods Box
96
Birds Eye Frozen Cooked Winter Squash Box
91
Green Giant Frozen Mixed Vegetables (Corn, Carrots, Peas, Green Beans) Steamable Bag
87
Green Giant Simply Steam Frozen Broccoli And Carrots With Sauce
82
Green Giant Frozen Sweet Baby Peas No Sauce Steamable Bag
71
Green Giant Frozen Spinach No Sauce Box
67
Birds Eye Steamfresh Frozen Asian Medley
62
Birds Eye Steamfresh Frozen Specially Seasoned Garlic Baby Peas & Mushrooms
47
Green Giant Frozen Cauliflower & Three Cheese Sauce Plastic Bag
42
Green Giant Frozen Creamed Spinach In Low-Fat Sauce Box
34
Green Giant Health Blends Healthy Weight Frozen Blended Vegetables Box
33
Green Giant Frozen Sweet Baby Peas And Low-Fat Butter Sauce Box 10oz
30
Birds Eye Steam And Serve Frozen Asian Vegetables With Roasted Cashews
29
Birds Eye Deluxe Frozen Artichoke Hearts Box
28
Green Giant Frozen Green Bean Casserole Box
23
Birds Eye Carrots and Cranberries
22


Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt

Sample scores for Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt are as follows:

PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Breyers Extra Creamy vanilla Ice Cream
45
Blue Bunny Reduced Fat Double Strawberry Ice Cream (No Sugar Added)
39
Edy s Slow Churned All Natural Vanilla Flavor Rich & Creamy Light Ice Cream (No Sugar Added)
34
Haagen-Dazs Black Walnut All Natural Ice Cream
24
Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream
24
Blue Bunny Cheesecake Fat Free Frozen Yogurt with Strawberry
23
Haagen Dazs Rum Raisin Ice Cream
23
Edy's All Natural Vanilla Flavor Slow Churned Rich & Creamy Light Ice Cream
22
Breyers Natural Butter Pecan Ice Cream
22
Ben & Jerry s Cherry Garcia Cherry Ice Cream
21
Haagen Dazs Low Fat Frozen Yogurt Vanilla Raspberry Swirl
20
Ben & Jerry s Dublin Mudslide Irish Cream Liqueur Ice Cream
19
Kemps Black Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream
18
Breyers Vanilla Ice Cream with Fudge Twirl
18
Starbucks Coffee Java Chip Ice Cream
16
Ben & Jerry s Cherry Garcia Cherry Low Fat Frozen Yogurt
15
Deans Healthy Delight Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
14
Edy's Rich and Creamy Grand Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
8
Edy s Mint Chocolate Chip Slow Churned Rich & Creamy Light Ice Cream
5
Breyers Vanilla Ice Cream with Snickers
3
Haagen Dazs Fat Free Strawberry Sorbet
1







Milk

NuVal™ Scores for milk range from 12 to 100, with a median Score of approximately 54*.

Scores in the milk category vary primarily with saturated fat content. Other factors that strongly influence the Scores for milk products include added sugar and salt, and the concentrations of calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. Non-dairy and lactose-free beverages usually have the same influencers as regular milk, however, they may also contain fiber, which can influence the Score. Lactose, itself, is not a differentiating nutritional factor.

PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Deans Fat Free Skim Milk
91
Garelick Farms Over The Moon Fat Free Milk
91
Horizon Organic Fat Free Skim Milk
91
Silk Light Soy Milk Plain
82
Garelick Farms 1% Milkfat Milk
78
Organic Valley 1% Milkfat Milk
78
Silk Soy Milk Chocolate
68
Silk Light Soy Milk Chocolate
56
Horizon Organic 2% Milkfat Milk
55
Dean's Whole Milk
50
Garelick Farms Whole Milk
50
Heartland Creamery Plain Goat's Milk
38
Horizon Organic 1% Milkfat Chocolate Milk
36
Hood Simply Smart Chocolate Milk Fat Free
33
Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Fat Free Milk
31
Anderson Erickson Chocolate Milk 2% Milkfat
24
Organic Valley Chocolate Milk 2% Milkfat
24
Nestle Nesquik Strawberry Milk Reduced Fat 2% Milkfat
23
Chug Milk Shake Cookies ‘N Cream
14
Chug Milk Shake Vanilla
12




rozen Pizza

NuVal™ Scores for frozen pizza range from 2 to 25, with a median Score of approximately 11.

Nearly all frozen pizza options contain saturated fat, which impacts their scores. Sodium can also be a factor, with some brands having as much as 1,400mg per serving. Scores can rise when the product uses a whole grain crust (which raises the fiber) and real cheese, which raises the score because of the added calcium. Pizzas that use partially hydrogenated oils, a source of trans fat, tend to have scores at the bottom of the NuVal scale.

PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
South Beach Living Pepperoni Pizza with Harvest Wheat Crust
25
Kashi All Natural Margarita with Tomato Garlic Cheese Thin Crust
23
McCain Ellio's Cheese Pizza
23
Piggly Wiggly Three Meat Frozen Pizza
23
Di Giorno Rising Crust Pizza with Spinach, Mushroom and Garlic
20
WeightWatchers Smart Ones Stone Fired Crust Pepperoni Pizza
15
McCain Ellio's Pepperoni Pizza
12
Tombstone Brick Oven Style Pepperoni Pizza
9
Stouffer's French Bread Pizza with Sausage, Pepperoni & Bacon
8
Stouffer's Lean Cuisine Deep Dish Spinach & Mushroom Pizza
7
DiGiorno For One Traditional Crust
6
Celeste Original Pizza
4
Freschetta Pizzamore Presliced Pepperoni Duo Pizza
4
Totinos Crisp Crust Party Pizza Classic Pepperoni
2













Seafood

NuVal™ Scores for seafood range from 36 to 89, with a median Score of approximately 81*.

Like meat and poultry, seafood is a source of neatly perfect protein. But unlike most other meats, fish tends to be low in saturated fat, and is often a concentrated source of fish oil, which is rich in health-promoting omega-3 fats. Because omega-3 fats are so important for health, they get a lot of credit in the calculation of NuVal™ Scores. For this reason, the fish that are richest in omega-3 fats, such as salmon, get very high scores. Fish and seafood with lesser amounts of omega-3 and higher concentrations of sodium get lower scores. Hence the Score of 36 for lobster, which is fairly high in sodium and, by and large, lacking in omega-3 fats.

Product
Score
Whitefish
89
Sardines (fresh)
88
Atlantic Salmon Fillet
87
Atlantic Halibut Fillet
82
Catfish Fillet
82
Cod Fillet
82
Grouper
82
Sea Bass
82
Tuna, Ahi
82
Oysters
81
Swordfish Steak
81
Prawns
75
Shrimp
75
Clams
71
Mussels
71
Haddock
64
Crab (Alaskan King, Blue, Dungeness, & Snow)
57
Bay Scallops
51
Turbot Fillet
51
Lobster
36


Shortening/Oils

NuVal™ Scores for shortening/oils range from 2 to 34, with a median Score of 11*.

Those products with the highest NuVal scores are also the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. Conversely, oils with the lowest NuVal scores tend to have the lowest amounts of omega-3s in this category. As the NuVal scores show, liquid oils are often a better choice than butter, margarine and other solid shortenings.

PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Benissimo Basil Tomato Olive Oil
34
International Collection Walnut Oil
27
Benissimo Roasted Garlic Oil
24
Sunera Canola Oil
24
Botticelli Chef Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Canola Oil Blend
23
Colavita Canola and Oli ve Oil
23
Olivado Olive Oil Gold Avocado
20
Crisco Pure Vegetable Oil
16
Wesson Pure Vegetable Oil
16
Bella Pure Olive Oil
11
Kalamata Gold Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
11
Pampa Extra Virgin Olive Oil
11
Spectru Unrefined Olive Oil
11
Star Extra Light Olive Oil
11
Kusha Grapeola Grape Seed Oil
10
International Collection Sesame Oil
8
Crisco Natural Blend Oil
7
Hollywood Safflower Oil
4
Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening
3
Planters 100% Peanut Oil
2





Snack/Granola Bars

NuVal™ Scores for snack/granola bars range from 1 to 42, with a median Score of 14*.

Snack and granola bar Scores vary with the content of sugar, fiber, and sodium. They also vary by the type of fat they contain; products with mono- and polyunsaturated fats tend to score higher, while those with saturated and trans fats receive lower NuVal Scores. Finding nutritious choices in this category can be more difficult, given the complexity of flavors and added ingredients commonly found. Using NuVal scores can reassure consumers that they will have the information to make an educated buying decision when it comes to nutrition.


PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Glutino Gluten Free Breakfast Bars - Blueberry
40
Fiber One Chewy Bars Oats & Strawberries With Almonds
32
Kashi, TLC, (Tasty Little Cereal Bars) - Blackberry Graham
31
Curves Chewy Granola Bars - Chocolate Peanut
29
Quaker Chewy Granola Bars - Chocolate Chip
26
Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars - Pecan Crunch
25
Nutri-Grain Cereal Bar - Mixed Berry
24
Health Valley Apple Cobbler Cereal Bars
24
Quaker Breakfast Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
20
Quaker Muffin Bars - Baked Banana
19
Kelloggs Granola Bars - Crunchy Nut Sweet and Salty
16
Quaker Breakfast Cookies - Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
13
Quaker Chewy 90 Calorie Granola Bars - Variety Pack
11
Kudos Milk Chocolate Granola Bars
9
Sunbelt Granola Bars, - Chewy Graham & Chocolate
8
Kudos Milk Chocolate Granola Bars with Snickers Chunks
6
Nature Valley Granola Bars - Sweet & Salty Nut Cashew
5
General Mills Reeses Sweet and Salty Granola Bars
4
Kellogs Special K Cereal Bars - Vanilla Crisp
2
Little Debbie Apple Flips
1


Cheese - Processed and Natural

Saturated fat has a significant impact on cheese scores, with some products having as much as half of their calories coming from saturated fat. If a product is low fat, reduced fat or fat free, they tend to score higher because some or all of the saturated fat has been removed. The presence of sodium and calcium can also impact scores (calcium positively, sodium negatively).

PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Galaxy Nutritional Foods Veggies Slices Cheddar Flavor
82
Weight Watchers Singles Process Cheese Product American
31
Laughing Cow Gourmet Cheese Bites Light Creamy Swiss Original
29
President Fat Free Feta
28
Kraft Fat Free, Natural Shredded Cheddar Cheese
27
Kraft Singles 2% American Cheese Slices
26
Kraft Singles White American
25
Cabot Cheddar 50% reduced fat
23
Cabot Vermont Cheddar Chunk
22
Kraft 100% Real Parmesan Three Cheese Blend Shaker
20
Wispsride Cheese Ball
20
Kraft Cheddar Cheese Chunk
19
Sorrento Mozzarella Cheese Chunk
19
Land O Lakes American Cheese Slices
18
Kraft Velveta Cheese Slices
17
Saga Blue Cheese Wedge
15
Chevrion Goat Cheese
14
Swissrose Lichester Stilton Cheese Wedge
13
4C Shredded and Grated Parmesan Romano Shelf Stable
12
Kraft Reduced Fat Parmesan Style Grated Topping Shelf Stable
11
TOFUTTI American Soy Slices
3






Crackers

NuVal™ Scores for crackers range from 2 to 87, with a median Score of approximately 14*.

You’ll see an incredible range of Scores in the cracker aisle which indicates that some crackers are very nutritious and others much less so. And while the names and claims about “reduced fat” or “low sodium” may not reliably tell you which is the more nutritious choice, the NuVal Score - which factors in all aspects of nutritional quality - will. Higher Scores here mean more whole grain and fiber, less salt, less sugar, and less harmful saturated and/or trans fats.

PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Ryvita Rye & Oat Bran All Natural Crispbread
87
Kelloggs All-Bran Crackers Garlic Herb
35
Kashi Tlc Party Crackers Mediterranean Bruschetta
30
Annie’s Homegrown Whole Wheat Bunnies
27
Keebler Club Crackers Original
27
Keebler Club Crackers Reduced Fat
25
Nabisco Ritz Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
25
Nabisco Wheat Thins Reduced Fat
24
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Cheddar
24
Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins Nut & Rice Cracker Thins
23
Sunshine Cheez It Reduced Fat
23
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Pretzel
20
Back To Nature Cinnamon Graham Sticks
15
Keebler Townhouse Flipsides Pretzel Crackers Original
14
Nabisco Cheese Nips Reduced Fat Cheddar
9
Nabisco Honey Maid Mini Smores Graham Sandwich Crackers
9
Nabisco Ritz Bits Cheese Sandwich Crackers
7
Austin Peanut Butter Sandwich Cracker S
4
Sunshine Cheez It Stix White Cheddar
4
Keebler Townhouse Bistro Multigrain Crackers
2




Fruits and Vegetables

NuVal™ Scores for fruits and vegetables range from 24 to 100, with a median Score of 100*.

Many of the most nutritious items in the supermarket are found in the produce aisle. While vegetables and fruits tend to score very high on the range of NuVal Scores, they don’t all score exactly the same. Scores vary in the produce category based on the concentration of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber in particular. Those at the very top of the range are very highly concentrated in many nutrients and low in calories. The lower scoring produce items are less packed with nutrients (as in the case of iceberg lettuce) or higher in calories (as in the case of passion fruit).

PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Apricots
100
Blueberries
100
Broccoli
100
Kiwi
100
Lettuce (Green Leaf, Red Leaf & Romaine)
100
Orange
100
Grapefruit
99
Pineapple
99
Sweet Potatoes
96
Tomatoes
96
Cucumber
93
Mango
93
Bananas
91
Corn
91
Grapes
91
Pomegranate
91
Avocado
86
Iceberg Lettuce
82
Passion Fruit
78
Coconut
24


Meats and Poultry
NuVal™ Scores for meat and poultry range from 24 to 53, with a median Score of 28*.

Meat and poultry scores tend to vary based on the content of saturated fat and sodium in particular; when these are more concentrated in a product, the NuVal™ Score will tend to be lower. Processed meats with added sodium will also tend to score lower. The saturated fat content of poultry varies between white and dark meat.

Remember that while lean meat may be a very important part of a balanced diet, it will never score as high as most vegetables. That is because the NuVal System measures the ratio of nutrients to calories, and meats are generally a much more concentrated source of calories than fresh produce. So don’t look for a NuVal Score of 100 in this category; instead, just compare meat Scores to one another to find the items that are the most nutritious in this category.

PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Lamb Kidney
53
Alligator
51
Turkey Breast (skinless)
48
Venison
41
Chicken Breast (boneless)
39
Rabbit
39
Pork Tenderloin
35
Flank Steak (Beef)
34
Turkey Breast
31
Beef Tenderloin
30
Ground Sirloin (Beef – 90/10)
30
Pork Chop (boneless center cut)
28
Chicken Wings
28
Lamb Chops (loin)
28
Leg of Lamb
28
Bison or Buffalo (ground meat)
27
Ham (whole)
27
Ground Chuck (Beef – 80/20)
26
Pork Ribs, Country Style
25
Pork Baby Back Ribs
24
Pasta

NuVal™ Scores for pasta range from 11 to 91, with a median Score of approximately 52*.

The NuVal Scores for pasta show you that so-called “carbs” can be your friends nutritionally if you know which ones to choose. Whole grain pastas made from a few simple ingredients are rich in fiber and nutrients and have just about no harmful nutritional baggage. Even their glycemic load is low. Lower scoring pastas are made from refined rather than whole grains, or have added ingredients that drive up calories, cholesterol, and salt content.

PRODUCT
NuVal SCORE
Barilla Plus Pasta Spaghetti Multi Grain
91
Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Extra Wide Noodle
91
Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Fusilli
91
Barilla Pasta Penne Whole Grain
89
De Boles Thin Corn Spaghetti
87
No Yolk Egg Noodles Broad Cholesterol Free
82
Tinkyada Vegetable Spirals Brown Rice Pasta
81
Bionaturae Spaghetti Gluten Free
77
Racconto Tri-Color Rotini
75
Barilla Pasta Lasagne Wavy
64
Barilla Pasta Rotini
61
Creamette Pasta Spaghetti
57
Martha Gooch Regular Macaroni Elbows
56
Martha Gooch Regular Spaghetti Long
56
Harringtons Egg Noodles Regular Cut Ribbon
53
Tinkyada Spirals Brown Rice Pasta
44
Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Pasta Wide Egg Noodles
32
Creamette Egg Noodle Wide
23
Martha Gooch Egg Kluski Noodles Regular Cut
13
Amish Kitchens Kluski Noodles Extra Thick Ribbon
11




Salty Snacks

NuVal™ Scores for salty snacks range from 1 to 52, with a median Score of approximately 17*.

Salty snacks are, for the most part, made from grains (such as corn) or vegetables (such as potatoes). There are exceptions, such as pork rinds. The highest scoring items in this category are made from whole grains, and little else, providing fiber and relatively little salt. In fact, many items in the salty snack category are actually less salty than a healthy diet should be on average. This is because when a product has very few ingredients, the taste of each one comes through very clearly, and less salt is needed. In addition to high fiber and low salt, other factors leading to high Scores in this category include: the use of healthful, unsaturated oils such as canola oil; the absence of harmful oils; the addition of nutritious seeds, such as sesame seeds; and relatively fewer calories. Low Scores will tend to mean little or no fiber, more salt, high calorie content.

Product
Score
Garden Of Eatin No Salt Blue Tortilla Chips Made With Organic Blue Corn
52
Snyder's Of Hanover Tortilla Chips Restaurant Style
38
Cape Cod Potato Chips 40% Reduced Fat
32
Tostitos Light Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips
28
Snyder's Of Hanover Pretzel Sticks Honey Wheat Pretzel
27
Lay's Baked Potato Crisps Original
25
Doritos Tortilla Chips Cool Ranch
23
Lay's Baked Potato Crisps Cheddar & Sour Cream
23
Lay's Potato Chips Classic
23
Sunshine Cheez-It Party Mix
20
Fritos Corn Chips Original
16
Cheetos Puffs
14
Rold Gold Pretzels Rods
14
Chex Snack Mix Traditional
13
Lays Stax Original Potato Crisps
10
Pringles Potato Crisp Reduced Fat Original
9
Cheetos Crunchy
5
Utz Potato Chips Barbecue
4
Kitchen Cooked Potato Chips Regular
3
Glutino Pretzel Twists Gluten Free
1