Healthy Grocery Shopping On Budget - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Healthy Grocery Shopping On Budget

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WORCESTER CO., Md. - With the first day of spring right around the corner and summer on it's way, many people are hitting the gym to get in shape, but eating right is just as important, although it can be expensive.
In honor of National Nutrition Month, the Worcester County Health Department is giving grocery store tours, helping people learn to shop and eat healthy on a budget.

First up, produce.  Kathy Wool, a registered dietician with the Worcester County Health Department says this is the key to a health diet.  "The thing that we really enforce to get people to improve their diets is more fruits and vegetables," says Wool.

While fresh produce is ideal, it's not always practical.  One of the biggest worries with fresh fruits and vegetables is wasting it.  You spend the money, but it can go bad quickly, so experts recommend stocking up on flash frozen produce to stretch your dollars and your meals.

Low carb diets may be popular, but you don't have to completely slice bread out of the picture.  Kathy says it's about eating better, so focus on two things, fiber and ingredients.

If the fiber is at least 5 grams, it's a high fiber bread, and if you're looking for whole wheat bread, the first ingredient on the label should be "whole wheat flour."

At the grocery store, knowledge equals savings, which means do a lot of reading, and at least a little bit of math.

With busy work and family schedules, frozen meals might seem easy, but they can be high in sodium and packed with preservatives, but how do you know how much is too much?  Kathy recommends the "5-20" rule.  Reading the nutritional facts on the label, 5% is low and 20% is high.

Looking at a label, Kathy says "I can go right here and see that it's 8 % fat, which tells me it's right near that 5, so this is a low fat item.  When I get to the Sodium, I see it's 25%.    

One area that's pretty safe - yogurt; experts recommend going Greek.  While in their pure, unsweetened form, any yogurt is a good addition to a healthy diet, the Mediterranean counterpart, compared to regular yogurt is highly condensed; taking much of the whey, lactose, and sugar out the equation, packing it all in to a container with the same amount of calories.

Instead of buying the kind with "fruit at the bottom," Kathy suggests buying frozen fruit and adding it to the plain variety, that way, you control calories and sugar being added.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to portion size.  Buy what you need, and leave the rest on the shelves...keeping the dough in your pockets and off your waistline.



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