3/22/11

National Nutrition Month: Nutrition Secrets You Don't Know About

So by now, you've may have heard that March is National Nutrition Month. And instead of giving you the usual "eat more vegetables," I want to share with you a few not-so-known victories in nutrition.

1. There is an "AsSalt" on sodium. Since sodium became the new trans fat, manufacturers have steadily changed the amount they use in products. Reformulation after reformulation, sodium is steadily dropping. Haven't heard about it? That's because most manufacturers don't want you to know. Why would manufacturers keep that from us? Well, for the very reason some of you avoid products that say "low sodium." There is a connotation amongst Americans that low sodium = low taste. Manufacturers have provided us a health benefit but have muffled the toot from their horn.
You might be very surprised to know that Campbells, Kraft, Kellogg's, General Mills and Oscar Mayer have all reduced their sodium over the past year.
Think about the benefits of this. Think of the thousands, if not millions, of pounds of salt/sodium that we are saving per year across the country!!

2. NuVal scores are on the rise. Sure, you have seen the NuVal scores on our shelves and they are helping you make "better-for-you-choices." But did you know the effect of NuVal is spreading outside the aisles of our store? Manufacturers have actually approached NuVal for recommendations to improve their product for a higher score (meaning better nutrition).
Then, to take it a step further, Topco, our private label company has made an additional commitment to our store guests. Any product that does not get a high NuVal score than the national brand equivalent (NBE) will be reformulated to receive a higher NuVal score. Now that's a victory for our food and health!

3. More Registered Dietitians (RD)! More and more grocery stores are hiring Registered Dietitians. Each retailer that hires a Registered Dietitian is making a commitment to their guests' health. When a store chooses a RD they are making a commitment to sound nutrition information, research and science-based information.
Did you know that a RD is required to have a minimum of a 4-year nutrition degree, completion of a 6-12 month full-time internship and must sit for a national board exam?
Did you know that anyone in the world can call themselves a nutritionist? Yep! The former President of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) even got her dog certified as a nutritionist! There are plenty of people who claim to be nutritionists. I urge you to explore their education; after all, it is your health.
Interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian? Check out the ADA.

During National Nutrition Month, follow me on Twitter @ABrownRD for Tips of the Day!

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