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HAR_2014-07_Conscious_Eating_Article_ShopRite

Eating Well Without Breaking the Bank

With food costs on the rise, many people assume that eating healthy is more expensive, but Kristen Ludwig, the Registered Dietitian at the ShopRite of Canton, wants assures folks that it doesn’t have to be. She offers creative tips and tricks to make the best food choices without breaking the bank.

Ludwig likes to clarify the misconception that the terms “organic” and “healthy” are interchangeable. “Just because a product is labeled ‘organic’ does not automatically mean it is healthier. That product could still be high in sugar, salt, fat or calories,” Ludwig says. “Organic or not, cookies, cakes, chips, and so on are still unhealthy choices and should be enjoyed in moderation. Always read the nutrition facts.”

When it comes to buying organic products, Ludwig defers to the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists compiled annually by the Environmental Working Group (http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/).

“The Dirty Dozen lists the 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide levels; those are the ones I recommend purchasing organic, if your budget allows. The Clean Fifteen have the lowest pesticide levels, which is where you can save money and buy conventionally grown,” Ludwig said.

Ludwig cautions the budget-conscious shopper not to be brand snobs. “When making a food purchase, the most important thing to consider is the ingredient list. When comparing store brand and name brand products, if the ingredients are similar, but the store brand is less expensive, go with the store brand! I personally buy the store brand of many healthy products, including Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, shredded cheese, hummus, almond milk and rice cakes. I get the same nutritious food at a lower cost.”

Ludwig highly recommends taking time each week to plan a menu, create a shopping list and set a grocery budget, but she stresses the importance of sticking to that budget. “Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry, as you will always buy more than you intended, and don’t purchase a product just because it’s on sale. If it isn’t on your list, don’t buy it!”

Ludwig encourages customers and area residents to stop in at ShopRite and say hello. “I'm here to help with anything food and nutrition related. Contact me to set up a grocery store tour, where I’ll help you find inexpensive, healthy and delicious foods. The best thing you can do is to educate yourself,” Ludwig said.

Carrie Titolo is the Community Relations Manager at The ShopRite of Canton. The store is locally owned and operated by the Joseph family. To schedule your free nutrition consultation and store tour with Kristen, please visit or call the Service Desk at 860-693-3666.

 

 

 

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