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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Make Brown Rice a Pantry Staple

Chicken Fried Rice

Rice is the epitome of a pantry staple. It’s a basic, inexpensive ingredient, with a long shelf life, that’s easy-to-use in a variety of ways. In fact, rice is a main staple in over 100 countries worldwide. By keeping this sure-to-please grain on hand, you’re well on your way to creating a delicious dish. For this month’s Nutritious Nudge, I want to share some reasons why brown rice is worthy of staple status in your pantry.

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Canned Vegetables

Wooden bowl with canned green peas on table. Studio Photo

Canned vegetables are budget-friendly, convenient, and can be a great source of nutrients. They are certainly worthy of their proverbial moment in the sun on the Guiding Stars blog. (To extend shelf life, be sure to store them in a cool, clean and dry place.) Believe it or not, though, many canned vegetables do not earn Guiding Stars.

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Shopping the Center of the Store

Woman shopping for groceries

One of my favorite things about the Guiding Stars program is that it refutes the myth that you must only shop the perimeter of the grocery store in order to find nutritious foods. Before I joined the Guiding Stars team, I worked in community nutrition education for low-income families. Like most shoppers, price was an important factor in my clients’ grocery shopping decisions, along with healthy foods that their family would enjoy. I led healthy shopping tours at stores with Guiding Stars and would use the program to highlight how you can find nutritious foods that fit your budget throughout the store. From this experience I learned that the center of the store is where Guiding Stars really shines. Let me explain why.

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Savor Holiday Meals

Poached Pears with Pomegranate Seeds

At Guiding Stars, we appreciate the pleasure and satisfaction that comes from eating. Sharing holiday meals with family and friends is something we look forward to and we hope you do too. Our mission is to save you time and effort in choosing nutritious food so you can spend more time enjoying it. In this edition of Nutritious Nudges, let’s discuss how to savor special holiday foods without guilt. We hope you will leave the table feeling completely satisfied and content this holiday season.

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Health at Every Size

People exercising together in a class

Nearly three-quarters of American adults are overweight or obese. Health professionals are taught that being overweight is associated with increased risk of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. Perhaps this is why people who have an overweight or obese Body Mass Index (BMI) receive guidance focused on losing weight. The Health at Every Size (HAES) movement pushes back on a weight-focused approach and aims to define health in a more inclusive way. It is gaining traction with nutritional professionals, especially online, so we thought we would share a brief overview.

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