Written By: Ellie Wilson, MS, RD, CDN Senior Nutritionist, Price Chopper Supermarkets New Years’ resolutions, top ten lists, favorite ways to be more healthful – January signals the start of “wellness season” for most of us, and the appearance of many stories and articles that will offer to assist us all take charge of our health. Not to be outdone, I hope you will find this one to be even more helpful, as my goal is to offer some very specific information you can use as you move through the store. Check out these aids and ideas to help you meet your own goals for better nutrition, feeling good and looking good. A little reminder – Price Chopper was the first supermarket to install the NuVal ®Nutrition Scoring system in all of our stores, to help our guests easily compare foods and “trade up” to better choices. Choosing foods above the average for the food category can help you be sure you’re doing a great job for your health and for your family. Here are some best practices;
- Eat Breakfast – More and more research is showing the power of breakfast to assist with weight loss, improve energy and productivity, and assist with managing hunger over the whole day. It is so important, many schools are offering breakfast for all children, even right in the classrooms, and reaping the benefits of better attendance, better attention, better attitudes and the best “better” – better test scores.
- Fruits and Vegetables – more matters! Americans are eating more, but are still not making the recommendations for servings (5-9 servings per day). This may be due to defining what a serving is, so here we go: one serving is ½ cup cooked fruit/vegetable, or 1 cup raw. Try this: 1 medium banana in the morning (= two fruit servings); 1 small salad plus lettuce and tomato on a half sandwich (=1.5 servings of vegetables); 1 medium apple for an afternoon snack (= 2 servings of fruit); 1.5 cups cooked spinach with dinner (=3 servings of vegetables). Total servings = 9.5!
- Lean protein for lean bodies – Choose lean meats to reduce intake of saturated fats. Choose seafood with scores over 84 – higher scores in seafood also mean better sources of omega-3’s.
- Thinking about whole grains, higher fiber, and lower sodium can really help you throughout the middle of the store. Added sugars also impact the healthfulness of food items. Choosing cereals above a NuVal score of 25 (the average for cereals) is a move in the right direction – higher is better in every category. Choose the average or above in granola bars (22), yogurt (35), bread and rolls (30), and you will automatically be turning up the fiber and whole grains, and lowering the sodium and added sugars in your diet.