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Health Star Ratings – avocado has real star quality

The Health Star rating is a quick, at a glance guide found on the front of food packaging to help you choose healthier foods. Star ratings can be from ½ star to 5 stars and the more stars a food or product has the better it is. 

Products are star scored using a calculator which assesses the products’ levels of energy, saturated fat, sugar, sodium, protein, fibre and what percentage of the ingredients are fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. The more plant food ingredients the higher the star rating.

The Health Star icons that you see on pack will vary depending on the size of the pack. For large packs you may see the round star icon plus the nutrient signposts but on smaller packs or stickers you may only see the Star icon itself.

The nutrients in the nutrient signposts are listed per 100grams serving size so you can make comparisons between products.

All fruits vegetables, nuts, mushrooms and legumes score 4-5 stars out of five stars indicating they are healthy foods to choose.

Avocado specifically score 4½ stars out of five stars so have true star quality. They lose ½ a star because they are categorised in the fruit and vegetable category and while they have a low proportion of saturated fat they contain saturated fat whereas other fruits and vegetables do not. If avocado was categorised in the fats and oils food group then they would score five out of five stars.

Since the Health Star Rating system is mainly aimed at packaged foods you may not see the star icon on avocado in stores so just remember that all food in fresh produce scores 4-5 stars and should be consumed regularly.

 

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