Health Habits with Susan Whirty
SMART CART: Knowing what is in your grocery cart can save you fat, calories and money. While grocery stores increasingly improve their design, variety and layout, making a trek to the market is still fraught with nutritional traps. Knowing what to put in your cart and what to leave on the shelf can oftentimes be confusing.
Here is a very simple rule to shop by: SPELL IT
- Surf the perimeter first
- Plan ahead
- Eat before you shop
- Look beyond eye level
- Learn label lingo
Many foods in the grocery store may be marketed as healthy but contain hidden fat, calories and sodium when you look closely. Reading the label, especially the serving size as well as servings per container will enable you to make good choices.
Use some of the following tips when shopping in the following departments:
- Deli: Avoid prepared tuna, chicken, potato and macaroni salads - instead choose lean roasted meats and part skim cheeses
- Bakery: check the label for fiber
- Meat & Fish:
Look for leaner cuts of meat such as filet mignon, lamb, chicken or turkey
Buy fish higher in Omega-3’s such as salmon, tuna or sea bass
- Dairy: go for low-fat, reduced fat or skim
- Water: Buying bottled water is fine, but spending money on “enhanced”, highly purified or flavored water is not necessary
- Frozen Convenience Foods: Frozen convenience foods often have HIGH sodium counts - look for meals packaged as healthy, low-fat or for the weight-conscious
- Smart Snacking: Don’t let packaging stickers give you a false sense of being virtuous - check the label for specifics and compare brands before purchasing
Lastly, the dreaded Check Out…Resist Temptation, look for a candy free aisle, or read a magazine while you wait.
Contact Susan Whirty, General Manager, Health, Wellness & Membership - JCC Health & Fitness Center