Like the infamous refrain of the Gilligan’s Island theme song, a visit to the grocery store can sometimes feel like a “three-hour tour” that ends in a shipwreck. As a nutritionist and educator, I believe that most people are trying to make healthy choices but need some help to avoid spending the entire day grocery shopping. Here are a few simple guidelines can help you shop more quickly and make healthier, more economical purchases:
Q: Where do I start?
Q: Fresh vs. canned vs. frozen. What is best?
Q: Eating fish twice a week is recommended for heart health and other reasons, but how do you choose fish?
Q Which bread is the best?
Q: Can I use the quick-cooking grains to save time?
Q: What is important when reading a label?
• Choose foods with less than 5 grams of total fat per serving.
• Choose foods with less than 3 grams of saturated and trans fats per serving.
• If you have high triglycerides, choose foods with less than 30 grams total carbohydrate and less than 15 of grams sugar per serving. (Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic guidelines.)
• For people with diabetes, counting carbohydrates can help with blood glucose control. Most individuals can consume 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates at each meal and 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates at snacks. Check blood glucose to see how the food choices affect your blood glucose. Eating well-balanced meals and monitoring carbohydrates can keep your blood glucose in good control.
Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be a stressful, time-consuming experience. Make your meals healthier and your shopping enjoyable, efficient and less expensive by planning ahead and being creative.