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Nutritious or Not? Check the Score

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check the score on your food to see if it's nutritious or not MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

“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

Add a Comment2 Comments

Indeed, The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System is really a great food scoring system it helps you a lot to gain nutritional value of the foods. And also the scores are displayed directly on shelf tags. lol .

Celebrity speakers can easily give a whole unique experience or meaning for your guests.

September 9, 2012 - 11:27pm
EmpowHER Guest

The fact that NuVal gave skim milk a higher rating than 2% milk immediately makes me fail to trust their recommendations. Most dieticians and nutrition professionals these days know that you need to have fat in milk to properly process the protein. You also miss out on fat soluble vitamins with skim milk. I do hope these rating systems can come up to current times. I also hope shoppers will continue to educate themselves and not immediately trust these below par recommendations.

September 6, 2012 - 8:30pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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