At Lakewood Health System, we’re interested in making healthy food choices easier and more convenient. That’s why we’ve partnered with Ernie’s Food Market in Staples to create a program that does just that.
As part of our Choose Health program, signs like this will now be posted at Ernie’s, identifying foods that are lower in fat, sodium, sugar, or are higher in fiber and therefore might be a healthier choice. These foods have been chosen based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines developed by the Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS).*
*The identification of a particular food product is not meant as an endorsement of any particular brand or food manufacturer.
Although they won’t be individually marked, keep in mind that fresh fruits and vegetables and fresh lean meats like chicken and fish are always good choices and should represent a significant portion of your diet.
Another way to make healthy food choices is to read food labels. Here is a short guide for what to look for on a typical label.
Serving Size: The information on the label is for one serving. Eat more than one serving and you get more calories and nutrients.
Calories: Choosing foods lower in calories could help you maintain or achieve a healthy weight.
Total Fat: Choose foods with less than 3 grams of saturated plus trans-fat combined per serving, and less than five grams of total fat.
Sodium: Look for foods that are low in sodium. You should consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily (or the limit set by your health care provider). Pay close attention to canned foods and frozen dinners, which tend to have high levels of sodium.
Dietary Fiber: Include foods with 5 or more grams of dietary fiber per serving. Aim to consume at least 25 grams of fiber daily.
Use these guidelines from the USDA to determine serving sizes and proportions.
Enjoy your food, but eat less.
Avoid oversized portions.
Foods to Increase
Make half your plate vegetables and fruits.
Make at least half your grains
Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
Foods to Reduce
Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals―and choose the foods with lower numbers.
Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
The following websites offer information on healthy eating along with tips and ideas for meal planning and cooking: