The Food Guy, Steven Keith Eating his way through the state, plate by plate

In case you missed it, my column in today’s Daily Mail offered some healthier game-day snack suggestions for this weekend’s Party of all Junk Food Parties – the Super Bowl. Things like making turkey sliders instead of cheeseburgers, serving veggies and dip instead of chips and drinking flavored seltzers instead of beer.

Although we all know that last one is just crazy talk.

But here are a few more suggestions from NuVal, a new nutritional scoring system that factors in 30 different attributes of foods (from fiber to folate) to give it a score from 1 to 100 on the Nuval scale. The higher the number, the healthier the food. These NuVal scores are starting to show up on some supermarket shelves nationwide, though none in our area yet, listed right next to the item’s price.

Here are some suggested “nutritional trade-ups” to help raise your NuVal snacking score this Sunday …

  • Some refrigerated dips, such as hummus or guacamole, can benefit from their protein, fiber and vitamin E. Fresherized Foods Wholly Guacamole, for instance, scores a 59, a very high score for the category.
  • Gringo Green Mountain Salsa Scores a 9 and Newman’s Own Black Bean and Corn Salsa scores a 48.
  • Don’t let terms like “fat free” or “fruit dip” fool you. T Marzetti Dill Fat-Free Veggie Dip scores an 11 on the NuVal scale, and the cream cheese fruit dip gets a lowly 2.
  • All chips are not equal. While barbecue potato chips rank in the low single digits, other regular-brand chips score in the mid-20s. While “baked” chips score higher, the difference in score may not always justify the difference in taste. Lay’s Baked Potato Chips, for instance, score a 24. Regular Lay’s? A 23.
  • Don’t assume pretzels are more nutritious than potato chips. Rold Gold Pretzel Rods score a 14, while Cape Cod 40% Reduced Fat Chips score a 31. It’s also possible to find chips that score relatively high. If you don’t mind skipping the salt, Garden of Eatin Blue Tortilla Chips score a 52, the highest score in the category.
  • If you’re looking for better nutrition than chips or dips can provide, why not go with some nuts? Whole natural almonds score an 81 and Flavorite sunflower seeds rank a 52. Even Planters’ Honey Roasted Peanuts come in at a respectable 29. Others however, such as toasted corn nuts, are way down in the single digits.
  • If you’re craving a football game staple like buffalo wings, TGI Friday’s Frozen Buffalo wings come in low at 14, while Morningstar Farms meatless “buffalo wings” fare better at 29.

For additional game-day suggestions or to learn more about the NuVal scoring system, visit http://www.NuVal.com/Shop/trading.