Imagine this: you’re at the checkout line at the supermarket, but instead of the clerk giving a pleasant hello and ringing up your items, he tells you that your food choices are unhealthy. He then breaks down exactly what kinds of foods you should get and tries to put back the unwholesome ones. What would you do?
This is the scenario on tonight’s episode of What Would You Do? It airs Friday, October 5, at 9/8 central on ABC. The segment will feature comedian Howie Mandel as the grocery store clerk who dons a wig and nerd glasses to fool customers in to thinking he is a real employee.
Customers at the store look baffled as the undercover Mandel tells them they have failed at their shopping. “Healthwise, I don’t think that’s gonna work,” he says to one perplexed mom. “Will you get her something with more fiber?” he says to a co-worker.
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Busy is often an excuse people give for making poor meal choices. Many will hit the drive-thru because they were too busy to pack a lunch. Or others will order pizza or grab pre-made food from under the heat lamps because they simply don’t have time to make dinner.
It’s true that our lives are too busy sometimes. However, there really are healthy options that are as quick and convenient as far less nutritious ones. You may be surprised to know you can find a great meal in your freezer section. A balanced meal can be achieved from frozen food, but the trick is knowing what to avoid and what to look for while shopping.
Our resident nutrition expert, Mary Hartley, RD set some guidelines to follow when choosing a frozen meal.
For a 250-gram serving, you want to look for:
- Calories: 300 – 450
- Trans Fat: 0
- Fat: < 3.5 g
- Saturated Fat: < 1 g or < 15% of total calories
- Fiber: > 5 g
- Sodium: < 600 mg
- Sugar: < 2 g
- At least 10% of the Daily Value for at least three: vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium
Hartley also advises that you avoid certain ingredients in addition to the guidelines. “Personally, I strongly dislike and avoid questionable artificial sugars: saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame-K. I [also] can’t see any reason to eat sodium nitrates or food dyes,” said Hartley.
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We’re never been quiet when we find a new product we love. We make it a point to try out the newest “health” food being marketed and uncover brands with a smaller ad budget and a bigger nutritional bang. But we’ve never given you one collective list all at once like we’ve done in our first-ever food awards!
We’ve spent the summer developing nutrition criteria, scouring every shelf of the grocery store, reading labels until our eyes-crossed, and swapping lunch calories for taste-testing calories all in the name of helping you put the best food possible on your grocery list.
What we’ve come up with is a list of 13 popular food categories at the grocery store with a clear winner in each: bread, cereal, hot dogs, yogurt, snacks, deli meat, pasta sauce, dips, frozen meals, dressing, granola, beverages, and soup. While the general rule of thumb is to only shop the perimeter of the grocery store, if you’re willing to read labels then there’s plenty of good food stocked down the aisles.
View the Slideshow: 2012 Food Awards
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Want to think sharper? Prevent your brain from shrinking? (Yeah, that happens.) Keep your brain from aging? You can’t exactly take your brain to the weight room, but you can feed this muscle a diet rich in vitamins B, D, and E, choline, and omega-3 fatty acids. That’s why making sure your diet is rich in the six foods on Oprah’s Great Brain Grocery List will not only feed your mind, but feed your body with plenty of essential nutrients.
While there’s no cure for Alzeheimer’s or dementia, often times we can do a lot to prevent these memory diseases from taking hold of our lives. New research finds that memory decline sets in as early as our mid-40s, according to O Magazine.
Click through to see which foods you need to start tossing in your cart.
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Habit, convenience, and proximity are major factors in shaping where we purchase food and which foods we purchase. The decision to eat a healthier diet can be much easier than deciding which foods to purchase and from where to purchase them. While healthier options are becoming more widely available, where you live may determine what is or is not available. In Indianapolis, the 12th largest city in the United States, we have at least one farmers market year round, as well as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Fresh Market. Proximity plays a major role in where I shop most frequently, but perhaps that is not the most important factor.
Farmers markets may give you the best opportunity for the freshest produce and to speak with farmers about the conditions in which animals and produce are raised, but they are often not available throughout the week and selection of goods can vary. Whether we like it or not, we all visit a grocery at least occasionally, and the majority of Americans buy the majority of their food at a box store. Your farmers market may not offer fresh-made pasta or gluten-free baked goods like mine does, but your Whole Foods is probably a lot like my Whole Foods.
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