Tonight we took a family walk to Kroger for some ingredients for tomorrows dinner and to get exercise. It is a 1.6 mile round trip, just long enough to stretch the legs.
Our garden is almost done producing after a rather miserly second crop of greens, so I was delighted to find a pound of organic spring mix on clearance for ¢99. Shae peeled back the clearance sticker to find a second clearance sticker priced at $2.49. I would guess the original price was $2.99. Yay deals!
We also picked up an avocado, but I much prefer Aldi and their superior pricing.
Then it was on to pick up some tortilla shells. We cruised on over to the Mexican section and started reading labels. I have been making an effort to eat healthier. Our general guidelines are:
- Minimize sugar intake (no soda, candy, fruit juice, or other high sugar empty calorie type foods)
- High fiber
- Veggies and Fruits can be consumed in raw form as much as desired
- Limit red meat consumption (poultry or fish are preferred)
- No trans fat and a watchful eye on the amount of saturated fat. Poly and mono fats are fine.
Sugar hasn’t been a problem for us. After you cut back on sugar you lose the taste for it and “added sugar” products taste disgusting. High fiber foods are usually just a matter of looking for products marked “high in fiber”. You do have to be careful though, as some breads and cereals can REALLY pack a punch. The fruits and veggies ‘rule’ is to promote healthier snacking. Instead of downing a package of chips, it is much more beneficial and filling to eat a piece of fruit. The idea is stolen from Weight Watchers where fruits and veggies are zero cost items in a diet (meaning you can stuff your face). Red meat is another area we haven’t had much trouble in for the simple reason that it is expensive. A good steak will cost upwards of $6-7 pound at the supermarket. Red meat is also loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol, two things that aren’t good for your heart. Poultry is a cheaper healthier alternative and we have been making an effort to consume more seafood (although finding quality seafood in the Midwest is difficult).
Finally, I have been monitoring food labels for fats much more carefully over the past few weeks. There are different types of fats and they are not created equally. The worst type and the one you should remember if nothing else from this post is trans fat. Trans fat is created during processing when hydrogen is pumped through oil to thicken it. This process is called hydrogenation. Trans fat is bad for your cardiovascular system because it raises your LDL cholesterol. LDL is the bad kind that causes heart attacks by clogging your arteries. The Food and Drug Administration, FDA, put a deadline for the removal of all trans fat from store shelves by 2018. So, even if you forget everything in this soap box rant, at least Uncle Sam will take care of the really bad for you processed foods.
I make such a big deal about trans fat because in 2015, it is still found everywhere. Looking at a nutrition label isn’t good enough because manufacturers are only required to list it if it exceeds 0.5 grams per serving. It is far better to look at the ingredients list. If “partially hydrogenated oil” is on the list, the food contains trans fat. This kind of pisses me off because we went to a company picnic last night and the little thimble sized container of butter spread had a big red banner across the top proudly stating “No Trans Fats”, but flipping it around revealed the ingredients where PHO was the second ingredient. 0.4999 grams is not the same as none.
The easiest way to avoid trans fat when shopping at the store is also the oldest health trick in the book. Shop the perimeter. After looking through a dozen different shelf stable tortillas and only finding the most expensive one to not contain trans fat, we found a refrigerated package in the perimeter for half the cost.
One final note about trans fat. You can kiss canned frostings goodbye. I made up my first from scratch frosting this past weekend for my Dad’s birthday cake and it was delicious (and much healthier than canned).
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
So there you have it. My salad clearance deal and a rant about nutrition.
Frugal boy agrees so I think I am off to a good start on health by nutrition.
Also here he is downing a roma tomato.