The weather is getting warmer and spring cleaning is in full effect for many of us throughout the house. When you get to the kitchen, don’t stop after mopping the floors; take a look at the cabinets, pantry and fridge. It’s a good time to capitalize on the new season to overhaul your home food environment; clearing out unhealthy foods is a great first step toward making better eating decisions at home. But once you’ve cleared your pantry of the not-so-healthy processed foods (see our list of the 5 worst offenders and toss those first) and the foods that have been lurking for months past their expiration date, don’t make the mistake of filling your pantry back up with junk.
Tag: grocery shopping
With thousands of food choices at your local store it can be difficult to know if you are choosing foods that are truly good for you. In recent years there have been several types of nutrient rating systems derived to help you make better choices — but have you found yourself asking whether or not they are actually helpful? Find out what all those numbers really mean.
Glycemic Index: Measures how quickly food is metabolized into glucose when digested. The G.I. also estimates how much each gram of available carbohydrate (this equals total carbohydrates minus fiber, which is non-digestible) in a food raises a person’s blood glucose level following consumption of the food.
Examples: Glucose has a glycemic index of 100; all other foods have lower glycemic indexes.
Pros: Helpful for diabetics and those counting carbs.
Cons: Not as informative regarding fats and proteins.
There are some packaged foods that make me want to scream! Some try to make not-very-healthy foods seem like they’re super nutritious, while others take healthy food and make them less nutritious. Oftentimes the first thought in my mind is “who thought this up?” Check out these outlandish foods, and keep in mind that if a label claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You’re better off eating real, whole foods over packaged or manufactured foods any day.
#1: Snap Infusion Supercandy
This candy is marketed as having “the deliciousness and instant gratification of candy, packed with super benefits.” It’s packed with a variety of B-vitamins, the antioxidant vitamins C and E, and a variety of electrolytes.
Instead: Be careful popping these over-fortified candies. Eat a balanced meal to get B-vitamin from proteins, vitamin C and potassium from fruit and veggies, vitamin E from healthy fats, and electrolytes from dairy.
The supermarket can be a scary place. We’ve scanned store shelves for the most processed processed foods. Our list is growing – here are the top 5 for this week. The good news? In almost every case, you can make your own with REAL FOOD!
Mix up trans fats and corn syrup and you’ve got a tub of cake frosting. At more than 70 calories per tablespoon, it’s not worth it for a variety of reasons.
Healthier Alternative: Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting
The supermarket aisles are flooded with health claims from “healthy, all-natural” frozen dinners to “cholesterol-lowering” granola bars. We’re constantly getting conflicting messages on what to what to eat — from organic produce to free-range or grass-fed meat — and what to avoid — from trans fats to high fructose corn syrup. It’s not surprising that most consumers are left wondering what to believe and what it all means.
For a long time, I was that person awkwardly standing in the middle of a supermarket aisle staring at the myriad of cereals wondering which was right for me. But the reality is the Nutrition Facts label on the back of each box provides me with all the information I need to choose the cereal that best fits my diet. I have found that many of my clients choose one section of the food label such as calories or total fat, and they base their food choices off that number. But it’s important to understand the whole label and realize that it’s a wonderful tool you can use to investigate exactly what each product contains and which product is the best choice. Remember, real, whole foods like fruits and vegetables are always the best bet. But when it comes to convenience foods, the food label and especially the ingredient list is the perfect guide to help you make better choices.
While the allure of healthy prepared meals fresh out of a box may be tempting, are these frozen diet foods actually good for you?
Frozen diet meals like Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers and Healthy Choice offer a wide range of options – you can find everything from breakfast sandwiches to pizza to Chinese noodle dishes. Those in favor of these packaged meals are all about the ease of use.
Top 5 Pros
• Portion controlled
• Ready in minutes
• A wide variety to choose from
• Easy to transport and store at work
• No cooking skills required
Not all foods at the deli are created equal. Check out some healthier and safer options to order up next time you’re at the counter.
Be In The Know
Not all deli “meats” are straight from the cow (so to speak). Here’s the breakdown on where all the deli goodies come from.
- Whole cuts: A part of the meat or poultry is cooked and sometimes flavored with spices, sugar or salt. It’s then sliced and sold by the pound. These cuts tend to be pricier.
- Sections and formed meat products: Parts of meats or poultry are “glued” together to create a single, larger piece (like cooked ham). These are typically cheaper than whole cuts.
- Processed meat (or sausages): These include liverwurst, bologna, knockwurst, salami and other such products. The meat can come from pork, poultry, beef, mutton and veal. Byproducts like heart, kidney, liver, lips and pork stomach are often tossed into the mix.
A recent study finds that Americans aren’t willing to put their money where their mouth is for healthier restaurant options. Are some foods worth the extra cash?
Footing the Bill
A study published in June finds that a large chunk of Americans aren’t willing to pay more for healthy foods at restaurants. The New York based marketing research firm that published the report found that approximately 70 percent of consumers over age 50 don’t expect to pay a higher price for more health-conscious menu items. The study also points out a decrease since 2007 in overall interest in seeking out healthier fare.
There seems to be a bit more hope for younger folks (ages 18 to 24) — only 44 percent said they wouldn’t be willing to cough up more money.
Researchers recommend that restaurants increase efforts to offer healthy fare at comparable price points to other menu choices to keep customers coming back. My suggestion: restaurants could downsize large portions to help adjust costs. Read more
Dr. David Katz is back! This time he’s filling us in on the new food scoring system turning up in grocery stores: the NuVal system. You may have seen these scores cropping up your grocery store — here’s how (and why) to use them.