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Grocery Shopping Made Easy & Healthy

Article by Megan Miller, RD LDN Contributor

With our busy lifestyles, it is often difficult to plan "nutrition-friendly" grocery lists and save money at the same time.  The key is to remember that the food we eat provides our body with fuel.  We want to give our bodies the best fuel possible so we can keep our metabolism on the move.  For example, eating a doughnut and drinking a cup of coffee in the morning will not energize you as well as eating a bowl of high fiber cereal and a piece of fruit.  This is easy to understand, but the hard part is taking the time to DO IT!

Healthy Buying Tips:
  • Pay attention to food labels when selecting foods for purchase.  Especially notice the "serving per container" and "serving size amount" on the foods you buy.

  • Always read the food label when you are selecting food products that are labeled as “non-fat” or “sugar-fee”.  Often times these products contain more calories and in the long run are no better than the original version. But most importantly, you must adhere to the correct portion size!

  • Buy whole-grain food products instead of the processed white products.  This will increase your fiber content and it will also give you a better feeling of “fullness” compared to white bread products.  Some whole grain products that are now available include: pasta, bread, pizza dough, rice, flour, pancake mix, rolls and pita breads.

  • Buy skim, 1/2% or 1% milk rather than 2%, whole milk or cream.  The products with the lower fat percentages contain the same amounts of nutrients, calcium, vitamins and minerals as their higher fat counterparts.  The fat content is the only factor that changes.

  • You can also save fat grams and calories by substituting low fat or nonfat versions of yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, cheese and buttermilk.

  • Ice milk and sherbet cost less than ice cream and have less saturated fat.

  • When selecting beef and pork products, purchase meats that come from the “round”, “loin” or “leg” part of the animal. These parts are the healthiest for you. USDA "select" beef contains the least amount of fat. The second leanest grade of meat is "choice."

  • Chicken and turkey products cost less and have fewer fat grams than beef and pork.

  • Some fruit juice companies are making juices from artificial sweeteners that taste great and are lower in calories then regular fruit juices and soft drinks.

  • Tomato juice is a great choice because it is very low in sugar/calories and it will also help you consume a vegetable serving.  However, most tomato juices contain a significant amount of sodium.  Select lower sodium versions for a healthier alter
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