Small changes you can make to your diet can make a very big impact on your waistline, and reading a few labels at the grocery store is a good start.
It’s easy to make smart, healthy food choices when you’re in the produce section. Pretty much any of the fruits and vegetables you’ll find will make great snacks or meal components. But there are a few grocery store aisles that can be diet pitfalls. Geisinger Dietician Janet Milner met us at a Weis Market in Dallas to help us out.
First stop: the cereal aisle. Janet says cereals should have at least three grams of fiber or more per serving. We take a look at one of my favorites, Special K.
“Carbohydrates will be 23 grams. Dietary fiber? zero. We want to promote fiber to fill you up, and this is not a great source of fiber,” said Milner.
By contrast, Special K Protein Plus has three grams of fiber and ten grams of protein per serving, which she says is the better choice.
Next up is the snack aisle. The recommendation is to look for a snack with three grams of fat or less per serving, and be mindful of serving sizes.
“If I’m eating a few pretzels, I’m hoping that I have an hour and a half or less until my next meal is ready. It’s just a little snack to help take the edge off my hunger before that,” Milner points out.
Lastly, we hit the drink landmine. Janet says it’s important to “think your drink.” Once iced tea we picked up had just 80 calories per serving, but there were four servings in one bottle. Sports drinks, she says, do have their place, but they’re not for everyone.
“They’re colorful and all, but they were designed for athletes, people for working out for an hour or longer, endurance sports. If you’re working out for an hour or less, water is sufficient,” said Milner.