With healthier eating a top priority for many Americans, Guiding Stars–the world’s first storewide nutrition guidance program–and Wellness Layers announced the public beta release of a new search engine called the “Food Finder.” This nutrition guidance tool is available on Guiding Stars’ website, and will allow shoppers to search more than 50,000 foods in the Guiding Stars database. The “Food Finder” will be the first tool available that provides UPC-level Guiding Stars ratings to consumers.
With “Food Finder,” consumers can review the products’ nutrition facts label, ingredients information, category, health claims and food allergens. This new tool will allow consumers to immediately identify the more nutritious foods within a category, to compare products, and to comment on products. The web platform developed by Wellness Layers encourages consumers to exchange ideas and share ratings through an online community supporting the “Food Finder.”
“Food selection for most of us is done mainly at the . By providing consumers with an easy guidance program in-store and tying that into an easy-to-follow online nutrition guidance program, we are bridging an important gap,” said Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH, of the and member of Guiding Stars Scientific Advisory Panel. “This new tool will offer the first easy, comprehensive nutrition guidance to consumers while they plan their food purchases. This is a true turning point and will empower consumers to easily identify more nutritious foods and, in turn, lead to a healthier lifestyle.”
The second phase of the partnership will occur later this year and will focus on the development of a customizable and licensable web tool called “The Smart Shopping Planner.” The Smart Shopping Planner will be a fully featured food shopping tool that can be customized with the brand identity and unique requirements of each participating partner. The tool will reside as a portal on each partner’s website, with a smart shopping function and an integrated meal planner that will allow visitors to create shopping lists and then print, e-mail, or download them to a mobile application. In addition to providing information about making healthier food choices, other topics will include medical condition-related alerts, shopping on a budget and weight loss.
“Our partnership with Guiding Stars is paving the way for busy consumers to more easily integrate balanced nutrition into their healthy lifestyles,” said Amir Kishon, PhD, CEO of Wellness Layers. “The user-friendly , combined with our award-winning platform, will offer the first shopping list that is tightly integrated with personal nutrition planning to provide 360 degree nutrition guidance to consumers.”
Guiding Stars rates all edible products in the store – regardless of price, brand, or manufacturer, and utilizes an evidence-based algorithm that is grounded in the most current dietary guidelines and recommendations of leading national and international health organizations, such as the , the U.S. , the U.S. Health & Human Services, the National Academy of Sciences, and the . The more nutritional value a food has, the more Guiding Stars it receives on a scale of zero to three. One indicates good nutritional value; two Guiding Stars, better nutritional value; three Guiding Stars, the best nutritional value.
About Guiding Stars Licensing Co.
Since 2006, Guiding Stars has been leading the way in helping consumers make nutritious food choices. The Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program is a simple, easy-to-understand tool for making good nutrition choices and is designed to make a positive and lasting impact on public health. Guiding Stars is currently in more than 1,600 supermarkets including Food Lion, Hannaford, Bloom, Sweetbay, Homeland, and Kings Super Market. Guiding Stars has also expanded into public schools, colleges and hospitals, and appears on the Shopper mobile iPhone application. Additional information can be found at www.guidingstars.com.
Healthy Travel Snacks
Credit: Allison Stowell, MS, RD, CDN on behalf of Guiding Stars
10 travel snacks (all earn Guiding Stars!)
1. Planters Alaskan Wilderness Blend (1 Star) - aim for color, crunch and variety to keep it fun but skip the chocolate
2. Kashi TLC Trail Mix Granola Bars (1 Star) - wholesome and natural with nearly a full serving of protein in each bar
3. Sunbutter Sunflower Seed Spread On-The-Go (3 Stars) - add to crackers, fruit or have on its own for a boost of protein and healthful fat
4. Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame, Goji Blend (3 Stars) - high in protein and crunchy
5. Terra Original Exotic Vegetable Chips (2 Stars) - colorful, crunchy and made from veggies (sounds like a win win!)
6. Smartfood popcorn (1 Star) - a “smart” snack and perfect accompaniment for the carTV!
7. Snyder's of Hanover Braided Twists, Multigrain (2 Stars)
8. Luna Sunrise Apple Cinnamon Nutrition Bar (2 Stars) - delicious varieties are available, which are satisfying and provide essential Omega fatty acids
9. Goldfish Cheddar Baked 100 Calorie Snack Crackers (1 Star) - whole grain and perfectly portioned
10. Fruitabu Grape Smoooshed Fruit (2 Stars) - these all-natural fruit snacks provide a ½ serving of fruit in each bar!
Tips for Choosing Healthy On the Go Snacks
Trail mix: With so many healthful options, trail mix is a great snack. Combine healthful fats, such as pumpkin seeds with dry roasted, unsalted nuts (such as peanuts, almonds, cashews and walnuts for example) or unique proteins like roasted edamame. Lastly, add dried fruit and whole grain cereal…and skip chocolate, which can melt in the car! Mix all the ingredients in a big Ziploc bag and then scoop into snack size bags for portion control.
Smoothies: There is no better, more refreshing way to load up on nutrients in the summer than with a smoothie! Blend together wholesome ingredients like 0% plain Greek yogurt, frozen fruit, 100% juice and ground flaxseed (for “good-for-you” omega fatty acids). Pour into a chilled to-go cup and you have a fast, satisfying snack that combines several food groups!
Nutty sandwiches: Anytime is a good time to get “nutty” with your sandwiches, as nut butters don’t require refrigeration. Begin with 100% whole grain bread and then top with your favorite nut butters (such as peanut, almond or cashew). Then add sliced banana, apple, raisins or a bit of reduced sugar all-fruit spread. Nut free? No problem, simply use soy-nut butter or sunflower butter instead.
Bars, Bars, Bars: There are many different energy bars available at the super market. They make great go-to snacks and can hold you over well between meals - especially on your way to work or a long road trip! Aim for bars that are high in protein and provide the “right” mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Steer clear of those that appear to provide mostly sugar or are too high in calories (above 200 calories).
Fruit: A refreshing and quick snack, fruits can give you a little boost between meals. They add important color, vitamins and antioxidants to your day. If possible, add a cheese stick for better balance.
Protein shakes or vitamin/mineral powders: Bring a packet of protein powder mix or a similar product, and mix with skim milk while you are on the road. The result is a drink that can offer a variety of vitamins and minerals, and protein to add nutritional benefit to your day.
At the gas station convenience store: What if you are on the road and don’t have a good snack packed? Believe it or not, you can refuel at the gas station too! Many of these little shops sell low-fat yogurt, cheese sticks, energy bars or small bags of trail mix. Some even have a deli! Just use your label reading skills and pass on the foods that offer too many calories without enough wholesome fat and protein. You can also use Food Finder to identify the star-rating for many different food products.
The wonderful people from Guiding Stars would like to help my readers with healthy snacking when traveling with their families, by offering one lucky reader a great gift pack like the one pictured below!
Leave me a comment of your favorite road trip snack, and how many stars it receives according to Food Finder! Leave me your email with this entry!!!
This prize package was provided by Guiding Stars!!