Thoughts: Know your Grocery Store

U.S. Dietary Guidelines My Plate

My Plate

In The Blood Sugar Solution, Dr. Mark Hyman states that it is important to know our grocery stores and that we should be using our stores as a pharmacy. In other words, buy healthy foods that will make you well, not sick. A year ago the U.S. Department of Agriculture replaced the Food Pyramid with a new icon and a new idea called My Plate. The new Dietary Guidelines consist of four sections—red for fruits, green for vegetables, orange for grains, and purple for protein—with a fifth section on the side for dairy. MyPlate clearly shows that fruits and vegetables should be half of our daily intake. Protein is the smallest section, while grains—preferable whole grains—are a bit larger. Dairy on the side should be of the low-fat or nonfat variety.

Now as we head to the grocery store, we can keep the image of My Plate foremost in our minds. We’ll make healthy choices if we follow these simple steps:

  • Plan your meals and make a shopping list.
  • Learn where the good foods are located. (HINT: perimeter! Stay away from the center aisles.)
  • Choose a variety of fresh and colorful foods instead of packaged ones.
  • If you must buy a package, read the label carefully.
  • Stay away from items with more than 4 ingredients, artificial ingredients, or words you can’t pronounce.

How well do you know your grocery store? What are some of the strategies that you use to shop for food? Share them with us in the comments section.

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