“Guiding Stars is not intended to tell you what to buy, but rather point you toward foods that have more vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, whole grains – and less fats, cholesterol, sugar and sodium,” said its website “About” page. The system has been in place since 2006.
Chains using Guiding Stars include Hannaford, Sweetbay, Kings and Homeland.
In place at many locations of Whole Foods, ANDI also focuses on nutrient density, with scores for various items ranging from one to 1000. The acronym stands for Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, with importance placed on vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants.
Curious about which foods score a perfect 1000? The honor goes to a few star vegetables, of course: Greens from mustard, turnips or collards, as well as kale, and watercress.
For its part, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says consultation with a registered dietitian or nutritionist is probably still the best route to consistently shopping for healthy foods.
A media release from the academy cited a Nutrition Today article that stated consumers are more likely to consider purchasing a food item “if a nutrition-health connection is clearly identified.”
In other words, consumers want validation that they are making healthy choices as to what to throw into the grocery cart.
Look closer at the shelves of your favorite grocery chain to see whether it has adopted a nutritional scoring system.
“How It Works.” NuVal.com. Web. 5 Sept. 2012.
“About Guiding Stars.” GuidingStars.com. Web. 5 Sept. 2012.
“Supermarkets Get in the Game of Nutrient Profiling.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics press release, EatRight. org. Web. 5 Sept. 2012.
“Top Ten ANDI Scores.” WholeFoodsMarket.com. Web. 5 Sept. 2012.
Reviewed September 6, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith