Good nutrition begins with good grocery shopping

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published January 29, 2019

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ROYAL OAK  — For many, a top priority in the new year is to increase healthy eating, which for the most part, begins with food purchased at the grocery store. With so many options, it can prove difficult to select the best choices.

“Knowing what to look for, where they’re located and understanding how healthy they are for you can be an empowering experience,” Beaumont registered dietitian Erin Dolinski said. “Education offers shoppers the first line of defense in preventing and treating chronic disease.”

Beaumont wellness dietician Shannon Szeles has a few “heart smart” grocery shopping tips for people of all ages.

She recommends that shoppers include five produce colors — red, like tomatoes, a good source of potassium for lowering blood pressure; purple or blue, like blueberries or blackberries, which are rich in antioxidants to fight inflammation; orange, like butternut squash, another good source of potassium; white, like cauliflower, which increases blood flow; and green, like kale or spinach, which provide magnesium and calcium.

For protein, Szeles recommends a lean cut of beef, which provides nutrients like B vitamins; 12 ounces of seafood or fish weekly for omega-3 fatty acids; and skinless chicken in order to cut down on saturated fat.

“Plant-based protein like beans are key for heart health. You can buy them canned; just make sure they’re the ‘no salt added’ kind,’” Szeles said. “Dried beans are naturally low in sodium, so they work great as a plant-based protein too.”

While in the dairy section, she recommends that shoppers choose eggs for protein and aim to eat one every day, as well as to select milk that is 1 percent fat or less to avoid saturated fat.

Lastly, she advises shoppers to check the label when selecting bread and to look for 3 grams of fiber or more per serving.

The nutrition team from Beaumont Health will offer seven free grocery store tours, each beginning at 10:30 a.m., from Feb. 5 to Aug. 20 at the Meijer in Royal Oak, 5150 Coolidge Highway, north of West 14 Mile Road.

Each tour will focus on a specific area of nutrition and will provide tips, including understanding the layout of a grocery store and where to begin; reading and interpreting food labels; learning about low-cost, time-saving meals; and offering tips for individual health needs.

On Feb. 5, April 9 and July 30, the tours will focus on diabetes. On March 19 and July 2, the tours will focus on weight management. And on June 4 and Aug. 20, the tours will focus on heart-healthy strategies.

The tours are free, but space is limited.

To register or for more information, call Beaumont’s Nutrition Services at (248) 898-3054.

Call Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik at (586) 218-5006.