The Food as Medicine strategy from Kroger Health helps shoppers answer three important questions:
- Is this healthy?
- Is this healthy for me?
- How do I stay healthy?
Kroger Health has developed a suite of tools and resources that answers those questions on an individualized level because every person’s journey to healthy eating is unique. With Kroger Health’s OptUP app, the answers to those questions are literally in the palm of your hand.
NOTE: Before downloading the OptUP app, you may want to have a Kroger Plus Card; it’s free. Then download the app, enter your shopper card [Plus Card] number in, and the app can track your food purchases. No Plus Card? No problem. Even without one, downloading the app will allow you to discover new product ideas based on categories like healthy shopper, gluten-free, keto-friendly, and vegan in addition to allowing you to scan products within your own pantry to see their nutrition rating.
OptUP Nutrition Rating System
The intricacies of food label reading. The sometimes-confusing information we read about which foods are (or aren’t) nutritious. It’s enough to make you want to reach for the takeout menu.
Thanks to OptUP’s proprietary nutrition rating system, you can save yourself the calories and the money. Simply key in a food item or scan a label and OptUP does all the heavy calculating.
Arugula: 96; Chickpeas: 76; Quinoa, carrots, and red onion: 97
The nutrition rating is not some random number but is calculated using the food and nutrition knowledge of Kroger Health’s expert team of Registered Dietitians. Adapted to the retail grocery space, OptUP assigns food items a nutrition rating from 1 to 100. With a simple color-coding system, you can determine “Is this healthy?” at a glance.
To simplify shopping for healthy food choices, Kroger Health offers recommendations on what percentage of your grocery basket should be comprised of what color.
OptUP Nutrition Rating System
Color Nutrition Rating Range Recommended Percentage
Green 100 – 71: 50% or more
Yellow 70 – 36: 40%
Red 40 – 01: 10% or less
OptUP Personalized Dietary Tags
The personal dietary tags within the OptUP app allow you to set specific dietary preferences. Whether those are personal choices, like veganism, or necessary due to a medical condition, such as diabetes, celiac disease or IBS, OptUP keeps track. For example, if you activate the Heart-Friendly dietary tag, every item you scan presents a nutritional rating score and a heart icon (if the food is a heart-healthy choice).
There are 11 personal dietary tags available:
- Contains Artificial Ingredients
- Contains Dairy
- Low FODMAP
Wondering how healthy your food choices have been over the past two months? Just look at your OptUP score.
Bridget Wojciak RDN, LD and Senior Nutrition Coordinator at Kroger Health explains: “Your OptUP score is an aggregate total of the nutritional quality of your purchases made at Kroger over the past eight weeks.” It’s calculated by averaging the nutrition ratings of those items.
Scores range from 01 – 1,000 and Kroger Health recommends a target score of at least 600 for a balanced diet. Simply being aware of your buying habits may lead you to make better food choices and hold you more accountable to your goal of staying healthy.
The groceries you bring home are typically what you cook and eat, which is a valuable indicator of your food choices, Wojciak notes. “OptUP makes it simple to make sure you are purchasing the right items to set yourself up for success.”
Food as Medicine
From mitigating disease to managing stress, proper nutrition is key to a healthy lifestyle.
Check out our Food As Medicine series to learn more about eating right, for you.
Learn how Kroger is helping people to live healthier lives at krogerhealth.com.