It’s easy to get tricked at the grocery store. We want to shop
smart, so we load our carts with items marked “reduced fat”
or “healthy lifestyle.” Despite our intentions, falling for
marketing hype can lead to some unhealthy food choices.
“Read the nutrition labels carefully instead of the deceptive
packaging,” says Zonya Foco, registered dietitian, author and
television host. “Find your healthy ‘go-to’ brands and stick
To keep overly processed, high-calorie items out of your cart,
shop for select items around the store perimeter.
“That’s where you’ll find fresh fruits and vegetables, lean
meats like chicken and fish, and low-fat dairy items,” she
says. “Then dart into the aisles for items like canned tuna
and salmon, whole-grain pasta, brown rice, beans and
Skip the chips, pretzels and cookies. You’ll find the healthiest
snacks in the produce section.
Don’t Be Fooled – Shop Smart for Groceries
Good Food Label Guidelines
Confused by the nutrition label on food items? Here
are some guidelines to help you pick the best food for
– Choose one with at least three grams
of fiber and no more than eight grams of
sugar per serving.
– Look for loaves with 100 percent
grain and at least two grams of fiber
– The best have 800 mg or less
of sodium, 10 grams or less of fat and five
grams or more of fiber.
– Find a package with five grams of fat
and 200 mg of sodium per ounce, or less.
– Select one with 300 mg or
less of sodium and no more than two grams
of saturated fat per two tablespoons.
“Pick up items like apples, carrots, grapes and celery,” she
says. “Fruits and vegetables help to lower blood pressure
and provide antioxidants to fight disease. Other snacks can’t
Zonya says you should also skip the soda aisle. Make
‘healthy soda pop’ instead.
“Regular and diet soda contain phosphoric acid, which can
decrease bone density and wear down tooth enamel,” she
says. “Instead, try mixing sparkling water with fruit juice to
make a healthy soda-pop drink.”
Lastly, review your cart before hitting the checkout lane. Are
there any artificial, processed items you can do without –
such as boxed dinners?
“You want to fill your cart with naturally colored items like
red peppers, blueberries and bananas,” she says. “Fresh food
has far more vitality and will never play tricks on you.”