Health Team

Dietitian Teaches Good Grocery Shopping

Posted March 6, 2008

A registered dietitian lent her expertise to teach a few women about healthy shopping on one special trip to the grocery store.

Carol Farmer, one of the "shoppers," said she did not bring a grocery cart on the trip – just a notebook and a pen.

"I wanted to learn more about making foods taste better, what's healthy," Farmer said."I've got four pages of notes today, and I'm sure it's going to be useful."

Rose Langley, a registered dietitian at Rex Healthcare, shared tips for shoppers to make sure they bought enough to serve 5 cups a day of fruits and vegetables.

"The brighter the color, the better the phyto chemicals, vitamins, minerals," Langley said.

Langley also emphasized women's need for fiber.

"Ladies, we need at least 26 to 30 grams of fiber a day, and unfortunately, the average American might get in 10 if they're lucky," she said.

Marketing tricks on breads can be misleading, she said, so shoppers should look for the fiber content on the ingredient label.

"With your cereal, you always want to look for at least 5 grams per serving," Langley recommended.

Farmer pointed out other advantages to a high-fiber diet: "Fiber in cereal and fiber in bread – that makes you not get as hungry because it stays with you longer," she said.

Langley preached the benefits of low-sodium options in reducing or preventing high blood pressure.

"Eight hundred seventy milligrams of sodium for a serving of this particular soup," Langley said. "OK, that's a lot of sodium."

Low fat is just as important for treating blood pressure, Langley said. "Now, everyone in your family needs to be on 1 percent milk or less," she said.

Consumers should also avoid regular juices and go straight to diet. One cup of juice has 28 grams of sugar and 120 calories, while a same-sized serving of diet juice has 2 grams of sugar and 5 calories.

Margaret Reynolds said healthy shopping might require her to spend more time pushing a grocery cart at first, but she is willing to try it.

"I'm going to read all the labels each time I shop," Reynolds said.


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  • saltygirl2 Mar 11, 2008

    Dr Oz says "No" to diet drinks......

  • zosoash Mar 11, 2008

    Moderation is the key. One bad food every now and then isn't a death sentence! Just make sure the good foods outweigh the bad foods that you eat. Limit saturated and trans fats, increase your good fats. Add brightly colored fruits and veggies. Eat lean meat or other lean protein sources, eat more fiber. Limit added sugars.
    "Diet" juice does exist in many flavors, such as ocean sprays "Cranberry Juice Light". WHile it does have significantly less calories most of the light juice versions also have LESS real fruit juice, more fake added flavorings and are high in artificial sweetners!

    Just eat the FRUIT and drink more water!

  • Shadow213 Mar 11, 2008

    "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly greens." I think that was the quote from the latest book offering nutrition advice....Sounds like good advice to me. We're all getting fatter in America-- probably because we eat too much and it's all fake, over-processed foods.

  • newborn _may18 Mar 10, 2008

    Eat lots of veggies, legumes, grains, and good fats: olive oil, salmon, peanut butter (natural), seed and nuts as someone mentioned. The condensed version IMO should be: try not to go processed when possible, smaller portions & snacks, limited saturated fats, good fats, fruits & veggies, water, and MOVE.

  • newborn _may18 Mar 10, 2008

    barring certain disorders and history, weight loss or gain is strictly about how many calories you consume vs. how many calories you use. For every extra 3500 calories (above your maintenance level or the minimum number of calories you need to operate w/o loss or gain) you will gain 1lbs. And for every 3500 calories less your maintenance you will lose 1lbs. So really it's strictly calories. Following certain plans, like low carb, are only designed to give you structure. Of course certain foods will help stay satisfied longer and thus help your weight loss journey, but ultimately it is a math issue. Exercise will help you body burn more calories, even past actual activity. Eat natural, not necessarily "diet" foods. I don't think you should abstain from anything except saturated fats. Eat whole fruits (not juices). You can drink fruit juice if you want to, but for weight loss you will feel more satisfied. Eat lots of veggies, legumes, grains, and good fats: olive oil, salmon, pea

  • readme Mar 10, 2008

    I don't think there is an subject area with more misinformation or unkowns out there than nutrition. I believe low-carb eating is the true best way to go. I have seen many people with real success there, unlike other areas, and I think it is the area the least influenced by "experts" with a financial gain from the information they promote. For example, this article promotes high fiber cereal and 1% milk. If you ditch them both in favor of high saturated fat bacon and eggs and diet soda (or H2O), your waste will thank you. Don't believe me? Try it and see, and don't believe the garbage low fat claims you've been fed for years. I never eat more vegetables than when I am on low-carb, and my cholesterol is the lowest. Diet soda makes you fat? More misinformation! Only if you can't control cravings and binge on high-carb food with it. Duh.

  • Steve Crisp Mar 7, 2008

    Here's how to shop.

    Grab Val and head to store. Camp out in produce while she loads up on "healthy" slime and play with the grapes. When you get to onions, you can make a break to the magazines and kill some time there. Then make your way over to the cookie aisle, picking up two or three packages at a time and sneaking them into the cart while Val's reading labels on soups. Then while she's preoccupied with canned veggies, bring in the big guns -- Hostess Cupcakes, candy, and potato chips, hiding them under the produce. Now hit the meat section. First thing...veal. Lots of veal. And rib eyes. And NY strips. Once they are wrapped up, you can't take them back so Val is forced to accept them in the cart. Listen to stern warning, then sneak off to the seasonal candy aisle and grab an armful of Reester Bunnies. Eat one package and put it with the rest in the cart so they can scan it properly. Finally, ice cream while Val is looking at Lean Cuisines and other such worthless garbage.

  • grayboomerang Mar 7, 2008

    I agree with both of you....and I have yet to see "diet juice"..anyone else??? Maybe she's talking about V8 Splash..dunno. But I rather like my Apple and Orange Juices....not willing to give them up.

  • purplerado Mar 7, 2008

    Exactly right, zProt. We know so much better now than this.

    "...low-sodium...reducing or preventing high blood pressure. High BP is more caused by mineral deficiency. Salt is ESSENTIAL. Common table salt, however, is poison. Use sea salt, or Himalayan salt to remineralize (I actually drink a teaspoon dissolved in a glass of water often). Get some exercise.

    "Low fat is just as important for treating blood pressure". Wrong - it's your BMI, not fat you eat. We need lots of good fats to be healthy. You can actually lose weight consuming a lot of olive oil. Other good fat is fish oil, flax and seed oils.

    "Now, everyone in your family needs to be on 1 percent milk or less,". Animal products are generally unhealthy. Pasteurized cow's milk at any percent is not healthy for anyone.

    "Consumers should also avoid regular juices and go straight to diet." She really didn't say this did she? Diet foods contain poisonous fake sugar, which causes a host of symptoms, including WEIGHT GAIN!

  • zProt Mar 7, 2008

    Unfortunately, this kind of "sound" diet advice has been around for a couple of decades and it has done nothing but make those that are struggling with their weight get fatter. I'm all for reading labels and knowing what goes into food, and thus into the body, but "diet juices"? This "dietitian" displays fat phobia, pushes a food guide pyramid scheme that has been proven to make fat people fatter, and according to this report, pushes chemical-laden diet foods and foods from cans and boxes instead of clean, wholesome vegetables, meats, and fruits. No wonder we are the unhealthiest developed country in the world.