There are approximately 50,000 products in your local Bag 'N Save and No Frills Supermarkets, which provide a great selection and variety of foods but do you ever wonder how to navigate the aisles to ensure you are filling your cart with healthy foods for your family? Here are some tips:
Produce Section: It is hard to go wrong in this section of the store. Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber and have few calories, little to no fat and no cholesterol. Try to add color to your cart by choosing a variety of fruits and vegetables as they each have unique nutrients. If you tend to purchase the same types of produce each week, try to select at least one new type of fruit or vegetable next time you shop to treat your taste buds to some new flavors and nutrients.
Meat/Seafood/Deli: When it comes to poultry, boneless skinless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets are the leanest choices. There are also many lean options for beef. Cuts including the word “round” or “loin” are generally lower in fat and when it comes to ground beef, look for 92% lean or higher. Ground poultry such as turkey or chicken, are also good lower fat options, but read the label as fat content can vary depending on whether the product contains white or dark meat. When buying pork or lamb, look for the words “loin” or “leg” as those cuts tend to be lower in fat. Seafood is generally low in total fat, saturated fat, and calories so don’t skip this section of the store. Although we are used to avoiding fat, fattier fish such as tuna and salmon, are rich in heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids, so you should try to eat 2 servings each week. When choosing lunch meat in the deli, the leaner options include turkey, chicken, roast beef or ham.
Dairy Aisle: Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products. These products contain all of the same nutrients as the higher fat versions, minus the fat and calories. When it comes to milk, select skim or 1% or try “skim extra” milk which has the same nutrition as skim milk but tastes like 2%. Low fat cheese has come a long way over the past few years so give it another try if it has been a while. When buying yogurt, look for those that have the “live and active cultures” seal to ensure it contains “healthy” bacteria that offers health benefits. If you are watching calories, choose plain yogurt and add fruit or buy those made with low-calorie sweetener.
Cereal/Breads/Pasta: Choose those made with whole grains and read food labels looking for those with the most fiber. To know if a food is made from whole grains, look for these words on the ingredient list: whole oats, whole wheat, whole rye, whole grain, oatmeal, bulgar or graham flour.