Guiding Stars & Medical Foods

Woman drinking milk
Photo by Dragana_Gordic on Freepik.

When you shop with Guiding Stars, you know that you’re working toward your diet goals. You’re filling your shopping cart with foods that are nutritious and lower in negative attributes like added sugars and sodium. That said, there is no such thing as a perfect eater, nor a “perfect” cart. The goal of the Guiding Stars program is to guide you toward the “good, better, and best” options so that you can follow a balanced diet that works for you.

There are a few reasons why a product may not have a star rating.

A food may not earn stars based on the scientific, patented algorithm used to evaluate foods, but it also may fall into one of the categories of foods that aren’t evaluated. Foods with fewer than 5 calories per serving (like spices), for example, aren’t evaluated because, frankly, there isn’t much here to evaluate. More importantly for the purposes of this post, Guiding Stars doesn’t evaluate medical foods. It’s the position of Guiding Stars that the need for these products should be decided between an individual and their doctor.

You may be wondering what a medical food is.

According to the FDA, medical foods are foods that are meant to be administered by a physician to help treat or manage a medical condition. Medical foods are not simply foods that are recommended as part of chronic disease management, such as gluten-free foods for celiac disease. An example would be a food that has been processed to eliminate specific nutrients that people with certain conditions aren’t able to absorb. The use of such foods should be monitored by a physician. Guiding Stars chooses not to evaluate these foods to avoid interfering in that essential patient-doctor relationship.

Guiding Stars can help you manage your diet for chronic disease.

While medical foods don’t have a place in the Guiding Stars program, you can still shop with Guiding Stars to find the best products that aid in the management of chronic diseases. For example, if you’re managing your risk for heart disease, you need foods that are rich in omega fats and low in saturated fat and sodium. The Guiding Stars labels and shelf tags point the way to the best options for these criteria. And when you choose nutrient dense foods that earn Guiding Stars, you’re making your calories count. This helps you maintain an ideal body weight and reduce many health risks.

Check out our comprehensive FAQ If you have more questions or learn more about the Guiding Stars algorithm.