Education Matters, Especially in NutritionPosted: February 28, 2016 in Healthy Eating by Craig Primack MD FACP
One of the advantages of participating in a medical weight loss program is finally having the answers to the seemingly never-ending questions regarding what to eat. The entire business of eating healthy is one that leaves many people confused. To start, there are countless diets out there that will tell you the answer to all of your weight loss woes lies in simply cutting out this one simple ingredient, whether that is sugar or carbs. Other diets will leave you to believe that consuming the same food day after day, or drinking some sort of specialized nutrition concoction is the best way to lose weight.
Medical weight loss is different. During a medical weight loss program, you are given guidance and nutritional counseling that will help you make smart choices and lifestyle adjustments so you can lose weight in a way that you’ll keep it off for good.
The Importance of Good Nutrition
One of the reasons that medical weight loss so often makes a difference in people’s lives is the fact that it encourages education. Nutritional education is essential in the struggle against obesity. Being able to decipher nutrition labels and understand the importance of incorporating different vitamins and nutrients in your diet, all while managing an appropriate calorie load is going to make losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle a lot easier.
There are some who think that this fundamental need for education and analysis skills in the grocery store isn’t fair to a lot of people who don’t have the time, energy, or ability to breakdown all that goes into eating a healthy diet. This is the line of thinking that has led some researchers and nutrition activities to call for a complete overhaul of the nutrition label as we know it.
The NuVal System: Simplifying the Score of Nutrition
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have created a simplified nutrition score that they believe could revolutionize the way people look at pre-packaged foods, ultimately making it simple for people to pick healthier foods on-the-go. The system works by breaking down the complex nutrition label and instead giving each item a simplified score that ranges from one to one hundred. The score would tell you at a quick glance about how healthy any given item is. The higher the score, the more nutritious the item is.
This would make identifying junk food simple. All too often high-calorie and high-fat foods will masquerade as healthy by boasting about their “no added sugar” or high protein content, while truly the food is loaded with calories and is too processed for any nutritional benefit. Sugary fruit juices and granola bars come to mind as examples of the types of items many people overlook when cutting out traditional junk foods.
The NuVal (which is short for nutritional value) scoring system would clear up those misconceptions in a moment, making it clear if a food was a smart choice (high score) or if you could do a lot better. This proposed nutrition scoring system isn’t available everywhere yet, but it is catching on in popularity and can be found in more than 1600 grocery stores across the United States.
As you are trying to lose weight, take advantage of resources surrounding you. The more educated you can become about the foods you are eating, the better off you will be in making lasting changes to your health and wellbeing.