Want to get yourself and your family on a healthy diet, but not sure where to start? Lauren Antonucci, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., C.D.E., C.D.N., Owner/Director of Nutrition Energy, NYC, shares her smart shopping tips for first-time dieters to well-seasoned pros.
Lauren: Smart shopping tips. First thing you need to do, you know this, you need to make a list. Best way to make the list, I find, is to organize it by category. Start in the produce section. Let's make sure we have enough fresh fruits to get every member of your family through the week, or until you go shopping again. That means we need two to three servings of fruit per person per day. Make sure that's on the list. If you're going to buy a cantaloupe, that may serve your family for one day. So take a couple minutes to go through that and decide strategically how many servings of fruit you need to purchase. Vegetables we want to treat the same way. Once you have an idea of what your family likes and how much you need to buy, you bring it home and it's there and available, you're more likely to use it. One of the things I make a point of doing is if I see a fruit and vegetable that I either don't know what it is or haven't eaten in a really long time, I'll buy it, bring it home, and promise myself that I'll do something with it that week. So open yourself up to new, healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables. You might find foods you really love and you'll be glad you tried. Meats are protein section. Make sure you have enough of those to make your meals balanced for the week. This may include some fresh items, some ready to go items, some items you need to cook, and a couple of frozen items to get you through that end of the week. Make sure you have a variety so you're not eating just the same food every single day. If they have buffalo and bison, ostrich, maybe these are things you have eaten before, but for a large percentage of people you have not. They are a meat alternative, they taste like a red meat, they're very simple to cook, and they're much lower in total fat, calories, and saturated fat that a lot of the regular burgers and steaks that you might be buying. Desserts and snacks. Yes we all like them, we all deserve them. Keep it to one choice per week. If you have one choice you wont mistakenly eat three different things in the course of an evening. So if you are going to buy some sort of fudge pop, make sure you buy one package, you have one every single day, you're fine. If there are more people than that in your family, each person can choose one product, but don't buy more than you plan to consume in a week. Then you head over to the dairy case. Pick up some low fat yogurts, make sure you get a variety. Greek yogurts are higher in protein, those make a great choice for a breakfast or a snack. They're filling because they have about twice the protein of regular yogurts. If you don't think you like yogurt, there are so many brands out there today with different textures and flavors, buy one of each and their very likely that you'll find one you like.
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