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Archive for Monday, January 4, 2010

Shop like a dietitian: We ask Lawrence experts how to make healthier choices at the grocery store

Lawrence dietitian Shannon Jones reaches for a package of Yokids yogurt, Friday, Dec. 18, 2009 at the Sixth Street HyVee store. Jones believes that 50 percent of a shopper's items should be vegetables and that shoppers should stick to the periphery of the grocery store because, most often that's where they will find the healthier food items.

Lawrence dietitian Shannon Jones reaches for a package of Yokids yogurt, Friday, Dec. 18, 2009 at the Sixth Street HyVee store. Jones believes that 50 percent of a shopper's items should be vegetables and that shoppers should stick to the periphery of the grocery store because, most often that's where they will find the healthier food items.

January 4, 2010

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Lawrence dietitian Stacy Hendrickson provides tips for navigating food shopping when trying to make healthier decisions in the new year. She checks the ingredients of a bag of pretzels.

Lawrence dietitian Stacy Hendrickson provides tips for navigating food shopping when trying to make healthier decisions in the new year. She checks the ingredients of a bag of pretzels.

More tips

• Go several times a week. One way to eat more produce is to shop more often, says Rippetoe. She recommends buying just a few pieces at a time to make sure you will eat it before it goes bad. When you’ve run out, just head to the store and grab some more.

• Plan your meals ahead of time. All three dietitians recommend planning your meals and snacks and sticking to it.

• Shop on a full stomach. You’re less likely to make˚ impulsive, bad choices, says Jones.

Shopping for better food

Dietician Staci Henerickson gives some healthy pointers for grocery shopping during a recent visit to HyVee. We also get a chance to see some of the items in her cart she picked up for her family. Enlarge video

Vowing to eat right is an easy resolution to make, until faced with the chance to eat your words along with a few cookies. If you’ve resolved to eat better in 2010, what better way to learn what to put in your cart than to find out what a registered dietitian would put in her cart?

So, we hit the aisles of Hy-Vee, 4000 W. Sixth St., with three people who make eating right their business: Staci Hendrickson of Healthy Balance Inc., Shannon Jones of Simple Solutions and Linda Rippetoe, who is on staff at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Want to steer your diet in the right direction this year? Check out their tips for a healthy cart.

• Shop with a list. The first step to a healthy cart? A healthy list of what you’re going to purchase. It will save you time, money and calories because you’ll be less likely to buy on impulse, all three dietitians say.

“Having it written down will prevent you from making poor choices when you get inside the store,” Jones says.

• Spend a lot of time in the produce department. Produce should be your bread and butter — shop with a list and make sure it includes lots of fruits and vegetables. Jones says that half your cart should be filled by the time you leave the produce department.

“I always say 50 percent of your basket should be from the produce section,” Jones says. “And the more color and the more variety that you have is indicative of more nutrients.”

• Color. Color. Color. Jones hinted at it above and Hendrickson will go one step further — your cart should be as vibrant as possible.

“You want to have as much color and variety with the vegetables that you pick as possible,” Hendrickson says.

• Think seasonally. Rippetoe suggests making an effort to buy produce in season because not only will it be fresher, it’ll be cheaper. So this time of year, this oranges, pears, grapefruit and apples she says.

“I think it helps with the budget, because that way things will be cheaper. These are 68 cents a pound — that’s really good,” Rippetoe says, picking up a few in-season oranges.

• Buy what you’ll use. There’s no shame in short-cut vegetables: Precut and washed, frozen and even canned. Buy what you’ll actually eat says Hendrickson, you don’t get points for buying veggies but not using them.

“I’m really big fan of practicality,” Hendrickson says. “If the baby carrots will get eaten and the whole carrots will sit in the refrigerator and get thrown away, buy the baby carrots.”

Lawrence dietitian Linda Rippetoe explained the importance of regulating salt intake by choosing low-sodium products.

Lawrence dietitian Linda Rippetoe explained the importance of regulating salt intake by choosing low-sodium products.

• Buy what you can afford. If organics aren’t in your budget, that’s OK, what’s more important is to buy the best food you can for your money says Hendrickson.

“The more important thing is that you are actually eating it,” Hendrickson says. “If somebody is feeling that they can’t afford organics, so therefore they’re not going to buy vegetables, I wouldn’t want them to make that choice.”

• Shop the perimeter of the store. Very few of your items should come from the store’s interior, where the more processed foods lurk, says Jones. Some staples you should venture into the aisles for? Canned tuna, whole-wheat pasta and beans.

“The inside of the store — you’re going to find more hidden fats and unhealthy sugars added in,” Jones says. “And so, kind of a trick is to spend the majority of your time on the perimeter of the store.”

• If you do buy processed foods, read the label. All three dietitians say that reading not only the nutritional facts, but the ingredient lists too, is incredibly important when trying to make healthy decisions. The fewer and more easily pronounceable ingredients, the better, they say.

“It is time consuming to go in a grocery store and spend time doing that,” Rippetoe says. “But it’s just a learning process to look at labels.”

And if you do lapse into an old habit an buy something unhealthy not on your list? Don’t panic, just don’t eat it all, says Rippetoe.

“It’s not to say that you should never have those things,” Rippetoe says. “It’s (just that) with all these things that we consider bad is that we have too much of them when we have them.”

Comments

gilly 4 years, 3 months ago

I once lived in area where the only grocery store I could get to was a small mom-and-pop with a limited and less-than-optimal produce section and no organic options. I was unemployed and running out of money, and I didn't have a kitchen, just a microwave. Eating healthy under those conditions takes a lot of determination and cooking know-how. I can't say I was always up to the challenge. I ate a lot of frozen vegetables (heated up in the microwave). Grocery store bread is wretched--read the ingredient labels--but that's what I had. For treats I bought sugar wafers--completely unhealthy, but I could buy a few on them at a time, and they kept me slightly sedated and saved me from feeling (too) deprived.

I'm grateful I can make other choices now.

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Paul R Getto 4 years, 3 months ago

Good advice, if one can afford the good stuff. Our food production system is distorted by subsidies that encourage production of sweet, salty, high-calorie food, We are biologically programmed to eat this and easily exploited. In a sense, government programs encourage production and consumption of these foods, which in turn tends to create chronic conditions in the populace who can then be treated by the 'health' industry.

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pace 4 years, 3 months ago

Surely even wing nut mothers say "eat your vegetables". The phony adds touting the family support for cheaper soda pop. I say less corn syrup and more carrots. it is socialism to eat less crap? No it is vegetables. beets rule.

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 3 months ago

Salad is right about the E. Coli and other food pathogens.
Ninja, the very bad spinach E. Coli outbreak of a couple years ago came from where I grew up. word was: runoff from where pigs relieved themselvs got into the spinach many times.

I lov salad, especially with bacon, strong blue cheese, spinach or letuce, onions, tomatoes, etc. yum.

but the way I stay healthy, lose weight, I eat a high protein diet, think Adkins, and the dietitians don't account for that. and oh yes, my cholesterol is wonderful, nowhere near the red line.


"Shop like a dietitian:"

sung to the tune of "walk like an Egyptian?"

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sandysslick 4 years, 3 months ago

Nothing useful here, just wait for your heart attack. After mine they educated me to what nonsense this story is.

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phoggyjay 4 years, 3 months ago

easy...no artificial flavors, colors, or genetically modified food

eat organic everything. more expensive, but it's your health you're investing in.

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salad 4 years, 3 months ago

supercowbellninja (Anonymous) says…

"so wait a minute, salad -

you're saying you'd rather eat processed food because it's more likely to be disease free? Yeah, I don't see a lot (any) of heads of spinach on this list of recalls…."

Not at all what I'm saying. I have no political point to make, it's just a fact. Wash your produce and cook your raw meat enough. Something like 50% of flu cases are actually mis-diagnosed as cross-contamination and food poisoning.

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Thinking_Out_Loud 4 years, 3 months ago

sk_in_ks writes "...[corn] subsidies help make high-fructose corn syrup super-cheap and ubiquitous...."

There's that word, ubiquitous, again. Why do I see it everywhere?

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supercowbellninja 4 years, 3 months ago

so wait a minute, salad -

you're saying you'd rather eat processed food because it's more likely to be disease free? Yeah, I don't see a lot (any) of heads of spinach on this list of recalls....

http://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls/default.htm

And great post by sk_in_ks - completely agree.

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salad 4 years, 3 months ago

Lets not forget that our kindly corporate food producers have sucessfully fought this mentallity tooth and nail. There's a reason why a 900 calorie cheeseburger is cheaper than a bunch of broccollii from the grocery store.

Another thing to remember, is that all the stuff that could potentially kill you in 30 years (heart disease, etc..) is in the middle of the store, but all the stuff that could potentially kill you tomorrow (food poisoning, etc) is on the outside.

One of the reasons we live longer is better nutrition, but also a safe and clean food supply. Processed food IS more likely to be disease-free. Hard to wash the e-coli out of the spinach, when the e-coli is inside the spinach itself.

The irony? ...the e-coli that poisoned the healthful spinach probably came from the corporate-farm cow that'll wind up in that cheap cheese burger that'll poison you later. We have met the enemey, and he is us.

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sk_in_ks 4 years, 3 months ago

Maybe as a nation we should consider switching from subsidizing corn (those subsidies help make high-fructose corn syrup super-cheap and ubiquitous) and wheat, to subsidizing healthier fruits and vegetables. Even shifting the balance a bit and providing some support for produce growers in the farm bill would help. I'm all for supporting farmers - let's help them grow the good stuff!

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supercowbellninja 4 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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redmorgan 4 years, 3 months ago

I wish this was a discussion rather than an article...I'd like to ask these dietitians a few questions.

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Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 3 months ago

Bad suggestions throughout. I don't know why some actually hate fat people. I know that money is at the root of a lot of it. There is fear that fat people are going to need a lot of medical care and who is going to be paying for it? Nice, skinny taxpayers. Ha!

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supercowbellninja 4 years, 3 months ago

Great suggestions throughout. Now all this country needs is a tax on fast food!

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