Jan 132012

"Guiding stars" now adorn the shelves of Langensteins, suggesting healthy products to shoppers. (Christy Lorio for UptownMessenger.com)

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

Up there with quitting smoking one of the most common New Years’ resolution is eating healthier, which can be hard to do in this town. I live walking distance from no less than eight restaurants, and while I’m always down for supporting the local restaurant scene, sometimes it really adds up, both in the monetary and caloric sense.

To combat weekly over indulgences, it’s natural to want to take extreme measures to kick start a new diet. Salad every day for lunch! No eating past 7:00pm! Gluten-free for life! Healthy-eating boot camp is easier said than done, right?

Langensteins grocery store makes it a little easier with the new Guiding Stars nutritional system. Simply grab a product with a star on it — no need to decipher weird codes or numbers. The Guiding Stars system uses an algorithm that takes into account saturated fat, sugar, and fiber, for example, and assigns every food item a 0 to 3 star rating. Products with the highest nutrition density are awarded three stars, while foods that don’t make the cut simply don’t get a star. Products such as beverages and spices are not rated.

The "Guiding Stars" system explained. (Christy Lorio for UptownMessenger.com)

The grocer’s Uptown location draws a more health conscious crowd, especially their older clientele who have dietary concerns. Products are selling better because of the star system, they say, although reduced fat and fat free are always good sellers. Local nutritionists also like the program. They can confidently send their clients to the store & know they will make great choices, just based on how simple the star system really is. About 30 percent of Langensteins’ stock has earned a star, a good percentage for a non health food store and above the national average of 21%.

Easy, right? Now if only there were a system to make you pick up the bananas and put the cookies back on the shelf.

Christy Lorio, a native New Orleanian, writes on fashion at slowsouthernstyle.com and is also a freelance writer whose work has been featured online and in print magazines both locally and nationally.

  2 Responses to “Christy Lorio: Seeing stars at Langenstein’s”

  1. Remember 2nd Harvest Food Bank when grocery shoppin’, y’all.
    They always need canned goods– Be sure to get some of those 3 star canned goods that are low sald, low fat, low sugar. People, esp. seniors, on restricted diets who get food from food banks, struggle with not being able to eat the food b/c of their diets. Now that the Holdays are over, people forget to give; hunger never stops.

  2. Sounds. Great. I just ran into the Nu Val system at Roberts. It is really cool. 1-100. I hope rouses gets on the bandwagon with one of these plans.

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