MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- What ends up on your plate starts with what you put into your shopping cart, but with so many different products it is hard to make the right choices, Navy leaders said Nov. 29.
"Shopping the perimeter of the store is where you will find the least processed food," said Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Wallinger, a dietitian with the Navy Physical Readiness Office. "That's where you'll find fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy and lean protein."
Wallinger stressed focusing on a balanced plate rather than a diet plan. She recommended that half of your plate be fruits and vegetables.
"Look for vegetables that are in season which are picked at peak, have more flavor, and are usually less expensive," Wallinger said. "You'll also save money and calories if you eat before you go shopping, since you'll be less tempted to pick up snack foods."
Canned and frozen items are another option to help you meet your fruit and vegetable servings each day. When buying frozen foods, compare sodium amounts among brands and choose the one with the lower number. This guidance is helpful when choosing canned goods and breads as well.
Divide the other half of your plate between grains and lean protein. Include whole grain bread, or rice, or pasta on one quarter of your plate. The final quarter is for a serving of lean protein such as poultry, meat, eggs, beans, or seafood.
Dairy products are also part of a balanced meal. Choose from many options such as low fat milk and yogurt with the least amount of added sugar.
"Make a list from your menu and stick to it. As much as 50 percent of most shopping carts are filled with impulse buys." Increased awareness and a good shopping strategy will help avoid the many enticements of attractive packaging and the call of an empty stomach. Be smart about what goes in your cart.
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