According to TopHealth, there are several dos and don'ts to healthy food shopping.
DO read nutrition labels. Look for foods high in: protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, folate and vitamins A and C and low in: saturated fat, trans fats, sodium and added sugars.
DON'T forget fiber's finest. Load up on whole grain breads, rolls and cereals as well as brown rice and dried or canned (rinsed) beans. When shopping, look for the word "whole" at the beginning of the ingredients list. The higher the fiber content, the better.
DO look for color. Select dark salad greens. Choose produce in a variety of colors. Remember, the darker the color of the fruit or vegetable, the higher the concentration of antioxidant vitamins and other nutrients.
DON'T dismiss frozen produce. Some frozen fruits and vegetables contain as many nutrients as fresh produce - sometimes more. Avoid items with sauces (they can be loaded with fat and/or sodium).
DO select frozen dinners carefully. Choose meals that contain less than 10 grams of fat and less than 400 mg of sodium. Select ones that contain some fiber and have a large amount of vegetables.
DON'T pass up the pasta. Try whole wheat pasta. It's high in protein and contains B vitamins and iron.
DO avoid empty calorie beverages. Check labels to make sure you are getting 100 percent fruit juice, not sugary water. Check serving size and calorie content of beverages you'll be surprised by how many calories some drinks contain.
DON'T go shopping on an empty stomach. Your stomach, instead of your head, will make your shopping decisions. You're apt to be more impulsive, resulting in increased spending and poor choices. Bon App tit!
The Senior Connection is a column provided by the Clinton County Office for the Aging. For more information about services for senior citizens, contact their office at 135 Margaret St., Suite 105, Plattsburgh or call them at 565-4620. Information is also periodically provided by the Behavioral Health Services North Caregiver Resource Center. They may be reached at 565-4543 or 565-4625.