Doctors recommend reducing the amount of fat, sugar and salt (sodium) in your diet so as to help reduce your risk of obesity, heart attack, type 2 diabetes and other diseases. Since what you eat has an important bearing on your health, it is critical that you start with making the right choices when you go out grocery shopping.
While out shopping for groceries, start in the produce section where fresh fruits and vegetables, high in vitamins and fiber, and low in fat, are found.
She added that consumers should check the labels on processed foods found in the produce department, such as guacamole or prepared salads with dressing. These products may contain high amounts of fat, sodium and sugar.
In the dairy section, stick with low-fat where possible. Beware of flavored yogurts, which can contain as much as half of the recommended daily allowance of sugar. If picking an ice-cream, choose the low-fat variety. Recent research indicates that eggs are fine in moderation, but check with your doctor first.
At the meat counter, choose lean products such as chicken and fish. Limit or avoid processed meats such as hot dogs and lunch meat, which contain high amounts of salt.
While breads and other baked goods can have a place at your dinner table, there are large amounts of hidden sugars and sodium in them. For example, just two slices of packaged white sandwich bread may account for as much as a quarter of your recommended daily sodium intake. A better choice would be to select breads made from whole grains (not whole wheat) that are more health-friendly.
Remember that almost everything in a plastic wrapper is usually highly processed and loaded with fat, salt, sugar or all three. Do a lot of label-reading and look for healthier substitutes, before picking anything from this section.
Plain canned beans in water are a healthy choice, as are some nuts and dried fruit. Also, be aware of serving sizes per package. For example, canned soups are sometimes advertised as low sodium but if the serving size is half a can and you are accustomed to eating a full can of soup, you will be getting double the dose of sodium.
In the freezer section, frozen veggies without added sauces and fruits without added sugar can substitute for fresh. Be very careful of frozen pizzas, dinners and snacks, which can be loaded with sodium.