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It was developed by a scientific advisory panel composed of experts in nutrition and health from Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Tufts University, University of North Carolina and other a system for rating foods on a numerical scale for their overall nutritional value.The system rates 3600 foods including basic foods like apples and oranges, fast-foods, and brand-name foods. The food rating system is part of an overall program designed to help people measure, balance, and upgrade their diet's nutritional quality for overall health improvement and well-being.The Nutrition i Q program is a joint venture of the Joslin Clinic and multi-banner supermarket operator Supervalu.Guiding Stars is patented food rating system that rates food based on nutrient density using a scientific algorithm.Foods are credited for vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, whole grains, and Omega-3 fatty acids, and debited for saturated fats, trans fats, added sodium (salt) and added sugar.

The program first launched a Hannaford Supermarkets in 2006, and is currently found in about 1,900 supermarkets in the US and Canada.The program was discontinued in October 2009 after sharp criticism for including products such as "Froot Loops", "Lucky Charms" and "Frosted Flakes" as Smart Choices.As a consequence of the backlash from the program, General Mills announced on December 10, 2009 that it would reduce the amount of sugar in many of its cereal brands.Glycemic index is a ranking of how quickly food is metabolized into glucose when digested. Jenkins and colleagues in 1981 at the University of Toronto.It compares available carbohydrates gram for gram in individual foods, providing a numerical, evidence-based index of postprandial (post-meal) glycemia. The glycemic load (GL) of food is a number that estimates how much the food will raise a person's blood glucose level after eating it.

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