It can be challenging to stay focused on nutritious foods when we are in a hurry at the grocery store. We may pick up the fresh vegetables we need for dinner, along with a few not-so-healthy impulse buys. When I appeared WALA’s Studio Ten, I shared my grocery shopping tips with the Alabama viewers. I also explained why I place Malaysian sustainable palm oil in my shopping cart. Unlike other oils, palm oil is rich with brain- and heart-healthy nutrients.
- Shop with a list. Pick up what’s on the list and nothing more. Sticking to your list may keep you from forgetting an important item, as well as prevent you from sneaking in unnecessary junk food.
- Find the time to browse. Sometimes I like to shop without the kids, and when I’m not in a hurry, so I can really peruse the shelves. This gives me time to read labels, as well as look for interesting foods to try. Consider stopping at a different grocery store or an international shop. You’ll often find many new items.
- Consider the Dietary Guidelines. Familiarize yourself with the latest Dietary Guidelines. For example, the Guidelines no longer list dietary cholesterol as a nutrient of concern since it doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels. They do recommend eating healthy fats and fiber, as well as choosing foods which have less impact on our environment.
- Choose nutrient-dense foods. When it comes to oils, I prefer Malaysian sustainable palm oil because it is rich in vitamin E tocotrienols and beta carotene. These powerful antioxidants support brain and heart health. Malaysian sustainable palm oil is one of the primary ingredients in Smart Balance spreads. Most other oils have little nutritional benefit; they are just oil. Palm oil is also great for grilling because it is stable at high temperatures.
- Avoid trans fats. Keep items with partially hydrogenated oil – our primary source of unhealthy trans fats – out of your shopping cart. Some manufacturers have switched to Malaysian sustainable palm oil because it is naturally trans fat-free.
Dr. Felicia D. Stoler is a registered dietitian, exercise physiologist and expert consultant in nutrition and healthful living. She was the host for the reality show, Honey We’re Killing the Kids on TLC. She is the author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes™: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great (Pegasus 2011). She specializes in integrating behavior modification to influence positive health outcomes. Stoler is the published author of numerous articles on nutrition, exercise, health and wellness.