We followed Lena Beal, M.S., RD, LD, a therapeutic dietitian at Piedmont’s Fuqua Heart Center, on one of her popular grocery store tours and got the scoop on the best options in every section of the supermarket. Her tips will help you enjoy your favorite foods while still meeting your health-related goals.
When it comes to milk and cheese, not all dairy is created equal.
Whole, 2 percent and skim milk generally have the same amount of nutrients, but you’ll see a significant different in the amount of fat and calories, so select lower-fat versions whenever possible.
You don’t have to eliminate cheese from your diet, but look for waistline-friendly white cheese (such as mozzarella) in lieu of orange cheese (like cheddar). In general, lighter-colored cheese has less fat and calories than darker varieties. Additionally, cheeses with a strong taste, such as blue cheese, add more flavor to your dish, so you can use less.
If you hate the thought of giving it up cheddar, it’s still possible to include it in your meal plan – just select a sharper, more flavorful version so you can use less of it.
Eggs have gotten a bad reputation because of their high cholesterol content, but it is possible to include them in a heart-healthy meal plan.
“Egg whites contain most of the protein. This is the highest biological value of protein we can find in food,” she explains. “The yolk contains fat and cholesterol.”
When scrambling eggs, Beal recommends using one whole egg and two egg whites or egg substitutes.
She explains there is no nutritional difference between white and brown eggs, which is a common myth. The color varies simply by the breed of the hen that produces the egg. What is more important is what you are actually getting from the egg.
By making these simple adjustments, you don’t have to give up dairy or eggs to meet your weight loss goals.
Beal’s grocery store tour is a part of Piedmont’s Weight Management class series offered through the cardiac rehabilitation department. For more information, call 404-605-3167.
For additional healthy lifestyle ideas, visit HealthWatch Tips & Tools.