Grocery stores are great because they contain everything you need in one convenient location, are set up as long aisles for easy maneuvering, and even have speedy checkout.

But with so many food choices at the grocery store, how do we know which ones are good ones? The key to making great choices involves planning and knowing what to look for when you are planning for meal times. There are some easy ways to make sure you are picking out foods that provide the best nutritional value for you and your loved ones.

  • You can never go wrong heading to the produce area - fresh fruits and vegetables are always good for you.
  • Always buy breads and pasta that contain whole grain or whole wheat blends instead of enriched or bleached flour mixtures.
  • Avoid soft drinks and replace them with water, milk, low-sugar juices, and herbal teas.
  • Choose low-fat dressings and condiments. These contain a lot of sugar and additives that are unhealthy.
  • Some cooking oils are better than others. Walnut, canola, and olive oil are very good alternatives to vegetable and fat oils.
  • Avoid processed foods and meats that contain high fat and preservatives. Canned meats, spaghetti, and ravioli products have high sodium, fat, and other additives that are unhealthy.
  • Avoid frozen pizzas, frozen dinners, and other frozen entrees.

Marlene Veloso