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.  

Nutritious Choices Made Simple

According to consumer research, the ability of Guiding Stars to simplify their shopping (and lives) is at least as important as the health benefits. When making healthier choices, more shoppers are looking for general “healthy eating” than any specific issue or diet. This year, we plan to demonstrate how the program can simplify shoppers’ lives, both in store and at home in new ways.

Public Health Approach

Hopefully, 2020 gave us all a greater appreciation for public health professionals. Public health approaches recognize the social determinants of health. These conditions, in the places where people live, learn, work, and play, affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes. Guiding Stars aims to be relevant and timely with our guidance. However, we can do better. We intend to provide guidance that considers a wider range of conditions which influence the health of an individual, family, or community. As you engage in what we put out, we welcome your feedback.   

Personalized Nutrition

Advances in technology, data, and analytics, have made personalization an emerging trend in nutrition. The belief is that by customizing nutrition advice, individuals may be more motivated to make dietary changes to improve their health and reduce their risk of conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. It would be remiss of me to not point out that this is exactly what Registered Dietitians do. They partner with you to develop a safe and realistic eating plan that you can stick with for the long haul. 

Guiding Stars recognizes that diets are not one size fits all. However, starting with the stars can save you a lot of time. Our program is based on key recommendations of a healthy eating pattern, which can apply to many different eating styles. Look for more details on how Guiding Stars can fit your eating style and wellness goals soon. 

Transparent, Evidence-Based Science 

Guiding Stars is credible because it’s built on evidence-based nutrition science. Our Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP), an independent team of scientists and nutrition experts from leading institutions, monitors the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as well as the recommendations of leading national and international health organizations such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Academy of Sciences, and the World Health Organization. The SAP adjusts our algorithms as scientific consensus agrees on new reasons to promote, limit, or avoid certain nutrients.

The Guiding Stars algorithms are patented, which allows us to be fully transparent about our product evaluations. This allows the nutrition community and consumers alike to have access to the science behind our program. Our star ratings have motivated retailers and manufacturers to take steps to reformulate their foods. We hope that the continued transparency of our algorithms will lead to better ingredient selection, with the goal of promoting optimal health.  

We are working on solutions that will make our product ratings even more transparent and accessible to the public in 2021. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.