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Shopping Smart for your Health

Choosing the freshest, healthiest foods is an important first step toward 

making healthy and delicious meals your whole family will love.

In general, most supermarkets are laid out with the healthiest, most 

nutritious foods around the perimeter of the store.  That is where most 

stores locate their produce section, their dairy section, their meat 

counter, and the like.  Of course, the middle aisles of the grocery store 

also contain nutritious foods, such as canned and frozen vegetables, whole 

grain cereals and more.

And of course each shelf of the grocery store also contains both good and 

bad choices for healthy eating.  For instance, the cereal aisle is home to 

both the healthy, whole grain cereal, and those cereals that contain more 

sugar than corn.  In many cases, the difference will be obvious from the 

packaging, while at other times you will need to read the nutritional 

information carefully to ensure the food is healthy for your family.

As a matter of fact, learning to read nutritional labels is one of the most 

important skills any health oriented shopper must learn. The government 

mandated labels contain a wealth of information if you know what to look for.  

Not only do nutritional labels contain vital information on calorie counts, 

fat grams and sodium content, they also contain detailed information on the 

percentage of each vitamin an mineral a serving contains.

When looking at nutritional labels however, pay careful attention to the 

portion size listed.  This is particularly important when looking at 

calories, fat grams and the amount of sodium.  For instance, a serving of 

juice is generally 8 ounces, while the average juice glass at your home may 

be 12 or even 16 ounces.  It is important to carefully look at serving size, 

and to do the mental calculation necessary to reflect how much of each product 

will actually be consumed at one sitting.

When shopping for healthy foods, it is usually better to opt for more whole or 

raw food instead of the over processed foods.  For instance, 100% fruit juice 

would be better than a fruit juice blend that may contain as little as 5% or 

10% fruit juice.  And plain frozen vegetables would be healthier than 

vegetables in a butter sauce.  When shopping for meat, try to buy fresh meat 

whenever possible.  Frozen meat products, or those already seasoned, heat and 

eat products, often contain unhealthy ingredients as well as preservatives.

When it comes to dairy products, it’s best to buy low fat and non fat varieties 

when at all possible.  The one exception to this rule is feeding babies and 

young children.  Their growing bodies need the fat and calories contained in 

whole milk products, but adults and older children are better served by low fat 


When choosing canned soups, there are a number of fat free and low sodium 

varieties.  Try to choose these soups for healthier eating.  Other high protein, 

low calorie soup choices include black bean soup, lentil soup and split pea soup.  

These healthy soups are good sources of protein, fiber and folate.

Ethnic foods, such as Mexican and Chinese, can be excellent sources of healthy 

meals, and the traditional ways of preparing such foods are generally very 

healthy.  It is important to stay as authentic as possible when choosing and 

preparing Mexican, Asian, Middle Eastern and Italian food.  This will help 

guarantee both great taste and healthy eating.  For instance, traditional salsa 

is an excellent, low calorie, and nutritious dip, and the traditional Mexican 

black bean dip is usually fat free.  

Seasonings can be an excellent way to spice up healthy cooking without adding 

additional fat and calories.  Herbs and spices are a great way to add zest to any 

meal, and starting an herb garden of your own is a great way to save both time 

and money while providing fresh tasting, healthy meals for your family.  When 

buying spices in the grocery store, be especially careful about sodium content.  

Read the label carefully, since the first ingredient on many bottled spices is 

actually salt (another great reason to start that herb garden). Many herbs have a 

wonderful aroma also, something to think about when planting your herbs, an indoor 

garden could be wonderful with all those incredible scents.

Self Confidence Magazine
Self Confidence Magazine
We believe that self confidence is the most important factor in happy and fulfilling life. This is why our mission is to help billions of people who struggle with self confidence.


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