Love Thy Vegetables

Sweet & Sour Veggie Dumplings

It’s probably cliché for a dietitian to say this, but vegetables could really use some more love. They provide key nutrients like vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber and most are low in calories. Those are enticing benefits to consumers for any food. And by eating enough vegetables (and fruits) as part of an overall healthy diet we can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity. Unfortunately, less than 10% of adults in the U.S. meet the recommended intake of 2 to 3 cups per day. 

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Guiding Good

Juice boxes on a conveyor belt

Guiding Stars simplifies selecting a healthy choice for supermarket shoppers. We provide at-a-glance star ratings for both national and store brand products – on shelf tags, on packaging for store brands and online. Behind the scenes, the program also supports grocery retailers to create a more healthy and equitable food system. Let me explain some ways in which we do this.

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Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Peanut Butter Banana Cocoa Smoothie

Grocery shopping is an extra sweet experience for chocolate lovers this month. Supermarket displays are filled with everything their chocolate-loving hearts could possibly desire. Of course there are plenty of decadent desserts, but shoppers should notice more “responsible” chocolate treats available this year too. As we have said before “go ahead, eat the chocolate.” If, however, you are looking for more nutritious options, Guiding Stars makes your search simple.

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Remember Your Role in Feeding

Happy family eating a fun weekend breakfast together.

Influencing children’s eating habits is one of the most important roles parents play. Parents establish the environment where the meals take place and decide what food is are served. From positive eating experiences early on, children can develop healthy eating habits later in life. It’s common for parents to feel pressure and uncertainty around their crucial role in the feeding relationship. They might have memorable feeding experiences from their own childhood that influence how they want to parent around food. Perhaps resources like time and money impact decisions for feeding their family. Regardless, parents want what’s best for their children and that includes a healthy relationship with food.

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Guiding Stars & Heart Health

Heart-healthy foods shaped into a heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Some risk factors for heart disease you cannot control, like your age or family history. Others you can, like your diet and lifestyle. Did you know that the science behind Guiding Stars aligns with many diet recommendations from the American Heart Association? Shopping with the stars is a simple way to shift towards a more heart-healthy diet.

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Guiding Stars & Weight Loss

Running shoes, measuring tap, notepad, oatmeal, and a pear implying a narrative of weight loss

Guiding Stars is an objective, evidence-based, nutrition guidance program. It provides a simple tool for consumers to quickly identify more nutritious choices while shopping. Our intent has always been to support people’s health, regardless of weight. We rate foods as good, better, and best to give consumers at-a-glance advice: the more stars a food earns, the more nutritious it is. Simply by choosing more foods that earn stars, shoppers can improve their nutrition without dieting.

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Nutrition is Personal

Graph explaining how Guiding Stars evaluates foods and assigns one, two, or three stars to indicate good, better, and best nutrition.

We know that the food choices we make each day affect our health. Not only how we feel today and tomorrow, but in the future as well. Almost fifteen years ago, Guiding Stars was created to provide consumers with simple-to-understand nutrition guidance so they could make more informed and healthier food choices. That mission remains, as does our belief that credibility, objectivity and transparency are critical to our success. We recognize, now more than ever, that many factors influence what people choose to eat. Nutrition is personal and our guidance needs to meet people where they are at in order to be relevant. In 2021, we plan to focus more on how Guiding Stars can help individuals and families on their personal health journey. I want to share some of what you can expect from us in the year ahead.

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