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11 Grocery Shopping Mistakes That Are Wrecking Your Diet.

 

We’ve all gone to the grocery store for two things – and walked out with a cart full of snacks we didn’t exactly need. Here is  how to plan your next trip for a smarter haul.

1. You forgot to eat lunch.Healthy eating tips

Yes, you may have heard the “don’t go grocery shopping when you’re starving” thing before — but there’s a good reason for it. Not only are you susceptible to overspending, but you’re also more likely to overeat what you do bring home. So whenever you’re heading to the store, make sure you’ve had a snack or a meal first — your wallet and waistline will thank you.

2. You’re unprepared.

Going to the supermarket without a list is like walking into the SATs without studying. (Well, close enough.) Feeling unprepared makes you vulnerable to poor choices — much like going in hungry! If that slip of paper usually gets left on the kitchen counter, make a list on your phone. Bonus: Then you can also use recipes from cooking apps or photos of favorite cookbook pages.

3. You start on aisle #5.

Bear with me: There’s a strategy to the way a supermarket is laid out. Shopping the perimeter first loads up the cart with the good stuff like fresh fruits and veggies, dairy products, and whole grains. Then, the chips, cookies, crackers, cakes, and soda that line the inner aisles have less room to squeeze into. This theory, also applies to mealtime, too: Fill your plate with with these healthy items, and leave whatever “room” you’ve got left for dessert.

That said, hit up perishable or frozen items last: That will help keep the food you’re prepping stay at the appropriate temperature. Safety first!

4. You beeline for the deli counter.

I’m always in favor of a good, healthy sandwich — but not all deli meats (and cheeses!) are created equal. Many can come loaded with sodium, so even if it’s something lower in fat (like turkey), it may still be chock-full of salt. The better bet: Rotisserie chicken or roast beef. To top it off, pick reduced-sodium cheeses, or swap those slices for 2 tablespoons of hummus or a couple slices of avocado.

5. You’re only shopping “organic.”

Sure, buying organic foods can be beneficial and sometimes safer. But keep in mind it’s most important to buy food that’s healthy. Don’t let the fact that a food is part of the “dirty dozen” (like spinach or kale) keep you from just buying the regular version if your budget doesn’t allow for organic right now. All or nothing attitudes for food and health may not be 100% sustainable for your lifestyle 100% of the time. (Plus, organic food may not be worth the skyrocketing costs.) The bottom line is that some veggies always beat no veggies in your cart!

6. You skimmed the nutrition facts — but not the ingredients.

Fruit juice concentrate and puree aren’t technically added sugar according to the FDA, but they add extra calories to a food item you could eat in a more nutritious form. For example, look for fruit-based products that say “mangoes” or “strawberries” as the first ingredient instead of mango or strawberry puree, and avoid ingredients like “apple juice concentrate.”

7. You’ve stocked up on the wrong things.

I’m looking at you, “lower-calorie,” “reduced fat,” and 100-calorie packs. Let me explain: Those tiny packs are often unsatisfying empty calories, so you’re more likely to blow through a couple at once. If you’re looking for a snack that will give you a real energy boost, go for protein and fiber combos, like fruit with peanut butter or cheese with whole-grain crackers. 

And the same goes for low-cal and reduced fat items. Without the fat, they’re often not as filling so it’s easier to overdo it. Also, when you remove the fat, it’s typically replaced with something — usually sugar. (Frozen yogurt is the worst culprit.) Unless you’re choosing items that cut down on fat without added sweeteners or fillers (good examples include light mayonnaise, low-fat milk, or popcorn made with less oil), you may be better off with the real thing.

8. You’re skipping the freezer aisle.

Sure, you’re avoiding the temptations of ice cream, pizza, and a slate of other treats that remind you of childhood. While I can’t fault your risk aversion, you’re missing out on some frozen gems. They shouldn’t be the bulk of your grocery list, but frozen fruits and veggies along with breads, waffles, and pancakes made from 100% whole grains, and even a single-serving ice cream sandwich can help you make smarter choices.

9. You skipped the canned goods.

First, stop judging: This aisle has more than the slimy green beans of your childhood memories! Canned beans, lentils, chickpeas, and fish (tuna, salmon, sardines, and anchovies) can be incredibly healthy and convenient. Plus, my personal favorite canned food is pumpkin — try it in Greek yogurt with cinnamon and a little honey! Just look for lower-sodium options (140 milligrams or less of salt per serving), canned in water when possible, and drain and rinse before eating.

10. You bought it “on sale.”

Would you normally eat that? If not, a sale isn’t enough reason. When it comes to discount items, double up on things you know you’ll use and that are good for you, like eggs, yogurt, canned or frozen foods, and pantry items like nuts and nut butters.

11. You didn’t make an impulse purchase.

Listen, those little last-minute buys at the checkout line (including the latest issue of Good Housekeeping!) can be well worth it — if you do it right. You’ve already got a cart full of good foods you need, and none of the bad stuff you don’t. So it’s okay to buy a single-serving chocolate bar or candy. Why? Because when you skip large quantities of fatty processed foods, sugary beverages, and other sneaky stuff, you leave room for a smart indulgence that satisfies your sweet tooth and won’t make you feel deprived. So, enjoy!

By Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Good Housekeeping Institute/ Aug 9, 2018

 

Benefits of Eating Vegetables

benofveg
Everyone knows they’re supposed to eat at least two cups of vegetables every day to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. However, there are even more health benefits to getting the recommended serving of vegetables. 

Eating vegetables daily can:

  • Reduce the risk for stroke and a range of other cardiovascular diseases
  • Reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce the risk of mouth, stomach and colon cancer
  • Lower the chance of developing kidney stones
  • Helps decrease bone loss
  • Assists with weight loss due to low calorie intake

What Nutrients are Found in Vegetables?

Most vegetables are potassium rich, which helps with maintaining a healthy blood pressure. 
A majority of vegetables contain a good amount of dietary fiber, which helps you feel full with fewer calories.

Vegetables have a high amount of vitamin A, which keeps eyes and skin healthy. Vitamin E, which protects essential fatty acids from cell oxidation, is found in vegetables. Because vegetables contain vitamin C, they can help speed up cuts and wounds and keep gums healthy. 

Heart Healthy Vegetable Soup Recipe

healthy soup recipes

Looking for some heart healthy inspiration? This vegetable soup recipe is healthy, delicious and easy to make. Team this soup with some crisp winter apples or pears and you’re ready for company. You can also make a double batch and freeze half for another meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ pound leeks, trimmed, split in half lengthwise, and well rinsed
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • ½ pound carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 large celery ribs, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 tablespoons dried split peas, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 tablespoons dried small white beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 quarts fat-free, reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • One 14½-ounce can no-salt-added plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ pound spinach touch stems discarded

Preparation

  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Thinly slice the leeks and add them to the pot along with the onion. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables wilt, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, lentils, peas, beans, thyme, pepper and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and continue to simmer, covered, for another 15 minutes, until the white beans are tender.
  4. Stir in the spinach and simmer, uncovered, until wilted, about 3 minutes.
  5. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.

Nutritional information

Calories: 130 calories
Total Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Protein: 9 g
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Dietary Fiber: 5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 130 mg
Potassium: 120 mg

Source: Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook (© 2007 Broadway Books)

Healthiest Veggies!

All vegetables provide a range of nutrients and health benefits. But, these vegetable powerhouses are the most nutritious vegetables to include in your next grocery list:

Carrots

Carrots contain the highest amount of pro-vitamin A. Vitamin A protects vision and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cance

Tomatoes

This vegetable powerhouse includes more than 20 vitamins and minerals. In just one cup of tomatoes, you can get a healthy dose of vitamin A, C and K. Other nutrients in tomatoes include potassium, magnesium, folate, copper and iron.

Asparagus

One cup of asparagus is a great source of vitamins A, C and K. It also includes folate, which is a vital nutrient for women of childbearing years.

Green and Red Pepper

Just one cup of a red bell pepper includes 100 percent DV of vitamin A. In addition to being a great source of vitamin A, it also includes high amounts of vitamin C and B6.

Spinach

Spinach includes more than 35 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin K and a range of flavonoids.

Broccoli

Broccoli contains vitamin A, C and K in addition to high amounts of folate and fiber.

Brussel Sprouts

Brussels sprouts boost high levels of B complex, folate, fiber, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin E.

Fruits and Veggies

AMAZING POWERS OFFERED!!!

Lowers blood pressure, helps with weight loss, prevents some cancers, promotes healthy hair, vision, nerves and skin, aids in proper digestion… and more!

What is it that can do all that??   Fruits and Vegetables!!!

Vegetables that top the list with higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other compounds include:

  • Dark Green ones like leafy kale, spinach and collard green;
  • Bright orange/red choices including tomatoes, radicchio, sweet potato and pumpkin;

Fruits with high scores include:

  • Berries
    • blueberries
    • strawberries
    • blackberries
  • Citrus, especially oranges
  • Melon
    • cantaloupe
    • watermelon
  • Kiwi
  • Apricots

All others certainly provide good amounts of nutrients and should be a part of your daily menu.

What to look for when shopping:

Buy fresh or frozen without additional sauces, cheeses, oils or salt. Canned, packed in their own juice or without salt can also be used. Bagged fruits and vegetables can be economical, but you should always carefully inspect the produce and buy those without bruising, brown spots or wrinkled skin. Wash all well before putting away.

How to include them:

  • Plan to have at least one fruit and one vegetable as part of every meal or snack.
  • Enjoy them fresh or cooked (roasted, baked, steamed or grilled) as is or add them to your favorite dishes.
  • Add frozen, fresh or no salt added canned vegetables to:
    • soups
    • casseroles
    • sandwiches
    • breakfast egg dishes
    • meatloaf
    • vegetable stir fry
    • crock pot meals
    • tomato sauces

Consider:

  • Baked on meat, fish or poultry
    • onions
    • peppers
    • mushrooms
    • apple
    • apricots
    • oranges
    • lemon
    • lime
  • Kabobs
    • fruit
    • veggies and meat, fish or poultry, grilled
  • Vegetable or fruit salsa
  • Stuffed vegetables
    • peppers
    • mushrooms
    • tomatoes
    • squashes
  • Fruit salad or smoothies
  • Fruit added to salads, gelatin or in a dessert