Shopping Smart

By: Kim Beavers Email
By: Kim Beavers Email

Wish you could spend less time in the kitchen without having to sacrifice good nutrition and health for you and your family? The first secret is to shop smart and have the right ingredients on hand.

Canned foods can save time and money. To keep canned food healthy, look for canned foods with the least amount of salt or sodium. Many foods are being canned with no added salt and those are usually the best choice. Otherwise look for items with 10-15% or less of the daily value for sodium (240-360mg per serving).

Also remember to look at the organic version of the food. It will sometimes be lower in sodium than the regular or reduced sodium conventionally-grown version of the same food.

Favorites to have on hand:

  • No added salt diced tomatoes: Great to add to rice, green beans, and pasta.

  • Beans: These are great warmed and eaten, rolled in a tortilla, and tossed on salads.

    • Choose reduced sodium when available.

    • Rinsing and draining does help to remove some of the added sodium/salt if a reduced sodium version is not available.

  • Healthy soup: Soup is basically a meal in a can. Add whole grain crackers and a piece of fruit and you have a healthy meal fast.

    • A healthy soup should contain 3g fat or less per serving and no more than 400mg sodium per serving. Look for soup with beans for added fiber as well.

  • Whole grains: Brown rice and whole grain pasta are great meal starters.

    • Whole wheat should be the first ingredient in the ingredient list.

    • If your family does not like whole wheat pasta, whole wheat pasta blends are available in which case whole wheat may be the second ingredient in the list.

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