Fourth of July Menu Makeover
NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System Serves up Healthy Grilling Ideas
Quincy, MA– June 25, 2012–The Fourth of July holiday means family, fun and, of course, BBQ. While grilling is generally a healthy cooking technique, there are many foods you may want to think twice about before putting them over the flames this summer. Scores from the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, a science-based system that displays the true nutrition in food, give us a guide to serving up healthy summer meals.
“With so many fresh options, summer time can be a fun and healthy cooking season,” said NuVal LLC General Manager Mike Nugent. “Unfortunately many items for the grill can give you a lot more sodium and calories than you may realize. The key is to make sure you are choosing the right items for your holiday BBQ.”
Under the NuVal System, foods are graded on a scale between 1 and 100. The higher the NuVal Score, the more nutritious the food is overall. NuVal Scores can be found in more than 1,600 supermarkets across the U.S.
NuVal Scores are based on an algorithm created over two years by Dr. David Katz and a dozen of the country’s top minds in nutrition science. In addition to being endorsed by the American College of Preventive Medicine, a Harvard study revealed that people who ate a diet of foods with higher NuVal Scores lived longer and had fewer chronic diseases like diabetes or hypertension.
Here are some healthy hints for grilling this Fourth of July holiday:
Want a steak? Make it salmon
If you enjoy seafood and if it’s available, make the switch. With a NuVal score of 87, more than twice as high as chicken and top round beef, salmon is one of the best choices you can make. Salmon is ideal for the grill. For something different, try making a salmon kabob. The fish pairs nicely with all vegetables and is sturdy enough for a skewer.
Eliminate the thick, gooey marinades
While they are delicious, many BBQ sauces and marinades are chock-full of sodium. We suggest using low sodium soy sauce like Kikkoman Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce with a score of 23 or olive oil and vinegar for marinating. You can also try making your own BBQ sauce using a few simple ingredients like Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes with a NuVal score of 40, minced garlic with a NuVal score of 91 and some cider vinegar.
Skip the buns, or choose whole-wheat bread
Depending on the type of bun you eat, bread can add between 150 – 250 calories to your hamburger or hot dog with little to no nutritional value. Switching to Aunt Millie’s Hearth Whole Grain Hamburger Buns provides much-needed 3 grams of fiber and have a higher-than-average NuVal Score of 28.
When you serve up the summer cocktails – add nutrition
What’s a Fourth of July BBQ without a few fun cocktails? Add nutrition to your drinks by choosing nutritional mixers like Lakewood Fresh Pressed Pure Pomegranate Juice with a NuVal score of 38 over Odwalla Pomegranate Limeade Juice with a NuVal score of just 1. The message: beware of hidden sugars!
Other NuVal Suggested Serving Tips:
Elizabeth Anderson, MA, RD, LDN, NuVal’s Manager of Nutrition Communication and Melissa Schlenker, an Account Executive with NuVal LLC and known online as the “mom blogger” behind ABetterBagofGroceries.com, provide some additional tips:
- When it comes to using salad dressing, instead of pouring dressing directly onto your salad, try the ‘fork dip’ method. Just dip your fork into the dressing first then take a bite of salad. This way, you get full flavor without all the calories, fat and sodium.
Substitute burgers and hot dogs with turkey burgers and grilled chicken. Veggie replacements for burgers and dogs, such as Veggie Patch Garlic Portabella Burgers (NuVal Score 68), Lightlife Original Tofu Pups (NuVal Score 59), and Boca Veggie Burgers (NuVal Score 54) are also a great idea.
- For ground beef, choose the leanest meat available. The difference can cut a few hundred calories.
Opt for shrimp cocktail over chips. It adds nutrition and cuts calories.
Choose burger toppings like avocado with a score of 89 over high-fat options like bacon.
About NuVal LLC:
The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System is a unique food labeling system which ranks all foods between 1 and 100; the higher the score, the higher the food’s overall nutrition. NuVal® Scores can be found in participating grocery stores, where they are posted on shelf tags next to the product price and on in-store signage. NuVal® Scores can be found at Price Cutter, King Soopers, Tops, King Kullen, Price Chopper, Hy-Vee, Meijer, Brookshire’s, Big Y, Skogen’s Festival Foods, Food City, United Supermarkets, Mariano’s Fresh Market, Lowes Foods, Scolari’s Food and Drug, Raley’s, Robért Fresh market, Coborn’s, and select Giant Eagle and Metro Market locations. Visitors to nuval.com can find sample scores in a variety of categories. NuVal LLC is a joint venture formed in 2008 by Topco Associates, LLC, and Griffin.