With our busy and fast-paced lifestyles, eating right can be difficult to do. When it comes to the grocery store are you shopping for your convenience or your health?
The grocery store can be an overwhelming experience for people looking to shop a little healthier. Lucky for me, I wasn't alone. Avera Dietitian Nikki Ver Steeg came along for some coaching.
"If we can shoot for foods that are closer to nature, less processed more whole foods that's my huge message for people all the time, if they can stick with that they have it made in that regard, and really looking for items that have 5 ingredients or less are a really really great idea." Said Ver Steeg.
Our shopping trip focused on the store's perimeter, this is where most of the fresh foods are located. Starting off the list: fruits and vegetables.
"Lettuce is always dirty and it always has more of those chemicals on it and so that's why it's important to make sure it's organic, celery is another one, apples, especially the ones that you eat the outside." Said Ver Steeg.
The biggest misconception is that buying organic is more expensive. If you pay attention to sales, it's not always the case and your body will thank you.
Up next is the meat department.
"Sometimes people think they can't eat red meat. I have a freezer full of red meat and it's a great way to get lean protein lots of nutrients and make sure you're getting a little bit of variety that's one thing people shy away from when you're looking at a heart healthy diet and you don't have to!" Said Ver Steeg.
It all comes down to choosing lean meats, like your seafoods, chicken, turkey and yes even beef. If you want a steak or make a roast just make sure you trim off the fat before putting it in the crock pot.
As Nikki and I made our way to the dairy section, she reminded me starting the day off right is very important and it's more than just a glass of milk. A good protein should always be apart of my breakfast.
"Eggs, poor eggs, they get a bad wrap all the time, people taking the yolks out or they're using eggbeaters or something like that, a big thing to remember is that eggs have nothing else added to them it's very close to nature, very simple and definitely a great lean protein." Said Ver Steeg.
And those eggs will go well with some low fat yogurt and fruit, maybe even a slice of toast? But be careful some items aren't always what they seem.
"If you look across here you see a lot of processed stuff, I see some buns that look like they're more of a whole grain type of bun, which is nice but sometimes they add a little caramel coloring in and some whole wheat, we're looking for 100% whole wheat and this isn't it. But they're good!" Said Ver Steeg.
Unfortunately, almost all of the breads in the aisle need to be left on the shelf.
"What you're looking for is this, 100% whole wheat if you can find a bread that has 100% whole wheat on it you're doing great!" Said Ver Steeg.
You don't need to spring for the health food aisle the second you walk in the store. Healthy food choices can be found all over. As long as you're paying attention to what's in your food and staying as fresh as possible, you'll do just fine.
For more information about smart shopping just call 877-AT-AVERA.