Thursday, January 22, 2009

Are you eating North America's Least Healthy Breakfast Cereal?

Can't say I've ever heard of it.

Quaker Instant Grits Butter Flavor received a score of just 6/100 from NuVal (formerly known as ONQI), my favourite food rating scale.

Coming in a close second last was a more familiar name - Cap'n Crunch Sweetened Corn & Oat Cereal with a 10/100.

So what's the healthiest cereal according to NuVal? Another unknown for me - Hodgson Mill Unprocessed Wheat Bran (Millers Bran) which received a perfect score of 100 with Red River cereal a close second at 93.

This is why I love NuVal - it's incredibly easy to use. It takes 30 nutrients and 5 nutritional concepts and gives them to 11 of the world's leading nutritional scientists who then crunch them down in a weighted algorithm that spits out a rating between 1 and 100.

Healthiest sugary cereal? Kashi Golean Crunch Protein & Fiber Cereal Honey Almond Flax with a score of 40.

Most surprisingly unhealthy cereal? Cheerios with a score of 34.

Brain-dead simple to use.

Thanks NuVal!

Bookmark and Share


  1. Anonymous9:15 am

    I'm glad I read this because I love my Red River Cereal. I sweeten it by putting in chopped fresh apple and cinnamon or chopped fresh dates instead of adding sugar, so it's nice to know it's a good choice.

  2. I seen you on A channel this morning. I just checked out the calorie calculator that you were showing.

  3. I'd love to see more thorough explanations of why certain foods get the ratings they do - ie Cheerios at 34! I see they are going to be on grocery store shelves in the US soon - any plans for Canada?

  4. Hey Julie,

    When I spoke with David Katz a few months ago he was in talks with, "one of Canada's largest Supermarket chains" but of course I don't know where that's gone.

    To read more on the algorithm, head over here.


  5. I just reviewed the NuVal website and scores for several different foods. There appears to be lots of work to do to get a good sampling of all the foods available.

    As a type 2 diabetic I have to be very aware of the foods I consume to be able to maintain normal blood glucose values. For my purposes the rating system is marginally useful but still of value if it is compared to the glycemic index and glycemic load. orac scale for anti oxidants and all the other tools that help me maintain a healthy diet.

    As a stand alone tool I find it only marginally helpful. I did not find white rice which I know to be high glycemic. Potatoes scored well on the NuVal scale but won't make it on to my plate because of their high glycemic index and load values.

    We have a huge health crisis because of our very bad diet. It is obvious we need to eat better and anything that helps achieve that end has value. I think this tool needs more work.


  6. Toma,

    You should know that judging something on the basis of a website may not be the wisest move.

    Go visit a Price Chopper or Hy Vees in the States (not Canada) and you will find that every single item in the store has a NuVal value - just because the website chose not to list 35,000 items doesn't mean that the scores aren't available.