Meals kits are getting popular but beware the hidden salt!

Meal kits, which have all the ingredients for a given night’s dinner, are gaining in popularity, especially among younger consumers who may not have very developed cooking skills. Several companies will deliver them to people’s home and now supermarkets are stocking their own versions. The idea may sound appealing, but beware and, as always, read the ingredient labels before buying any.

Doing that myself, I found what seemed like a relatively appealing kit — with pasta and tomatoes, was a salt bomb, containing 1,320 mgs of salt per serving or 2620 mgs in the entire package which is supposed to be two servings. Continue reading “Meals kits are getting popular but beware the hidden salt!”

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What the dates on food actually mean

If you’ve ever felt confused about the dates on food products, you’re not alone. Roughly 84% of consumers toss a product if the date on the package, whether called “Use by” or “Sell by” or “best if used by” is reached or passes, found a study of 1,029 consumers done back in 2016, reports the journal Waste Management.

The problem is those terms are not regulated, so food processors are free to sue whatever language they want. And they say the dates just indicate “peak flavor” or when a store should stop displaying a product. None of the terms relates to food safety, reports a story on the survey in Time.

So how do you know when food is spoiled? Follow the old expression “The Nose Knows,” the article suggests. If something smells bad, it is. If it taste bad or looks bad (IE visible mold), toss it.

It’s still consumer beware.

Smart shopping in the frozen food aisle

Winter can be a tough time to find fresh fruits and vegetables at a reasonable price, depending on where you live (I’m in the Chicago are and its below freezing as I write this, so nothing is growing here right now except ice patches).

Frozen fruits and vegetables can be an acceptable alternative,m providing you don’t buy offerings that have any added salt, fat and sugar. avoid frozen veggies in sauces, for example.

The Food Network has a handy slide show of 10 Frozen Foods Nutritionists Always Buy. Continue reading “Smart shopping in the frozen food aisle”

More bad news for eating processed foods

It’s no secret Americans, particularly Millennials, are turning away from processed foods in droves. Recent earnings woes at processing giant Kraft Heinz point to that as does a weak profit forecast from Coca-Cola.

The perimeter of the supermarket, where fresh fruits, meats and seafood are sold, is becoming the main circuit for shoppers while the central core of most stores, where the higher-margin processed foods sit, is being ignored.

My low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar pantry.
My low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar pantry. Are these healthy? For me, they are. Read every label before buying any food products.

A new study from France adds to the motivation to just shop the perimeter, if you go to mainstream supermarkets at all.

French researchers looked at  “the diet of more than 44,000 middle-aged adults over a roughly eight-year period and found that a 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed food consumption was linked to a 14% increase in the risk of mortality,” reports Cooking Light magazine. Continue reading “More bad news for eating processed foods”

Find the hidden sugar…and help yourself eat healthier

Salt, incredibly high amounts of salt, hides in almost all processed and restaurant foods. That’s why I spend so much time looking at food labels and writing here about low- and no-salt alternatives to salty products. Check my smart shopping page and my ingredients page for those.

I've found two brands of low-sodium,low-sugar ketchup, Westbrae and LocalFolks Foods.
I’ve found two brands of low-sodium,low-sugar ketchup, Westbrae and LocalFolks Foods.

But sugar also hides in many foods and these days nutritionists think too much sugar may do as much if not more harm to your body as too much salt does. Continue reading “Find the hidden sugar…and help yourself eat healthier”

Consumer Reports takes a great look at healthier eating

Consumer Reports is a magazine I look at whenever making a major purchase such as a car or large appliance. It’s reviews are the bible of product reviews, in my opinion. So I was intrigued to see its November issue carrying a cover story about healthy eating.

What’s in the issue is as good as other work Consumer Reports does. If you cans till find one to buy, buy it and refer to it as you cook or eat out. If you can;t find a physical copy, go to the website, it appears you can read at least some of the stories there without being a member of Consumer Reports. Continue reading “Consumer Reports takes a great look at healthier eating”

A heart-related discount from Healthy Heart Market

Healthy Heart Market is a good online shopping alternative if you can’t find low- and no-salt offerings in your local supermarkets or food stores here you shop. I’ve written about it’s offerings in the past.ama-heart

But shipping products, especially liquids, can get expensive. So it’s nice when the Market offers discount, such as one that is ending today for 10% off. The promotion is tied in with the American Heart Association’s Go Red Day, which was Feb. 3 and is designed to help promote heart health among women. Continue reading “A heart-related discount from Healthy Heart Market”

New guidelines for safer fish consumption, will these be the last?

The Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency recently put out new guidelines regarding fish consumption that includes this handy infographic showing which fish have less mercury (that’s the interpretation of healthy, or best choices, here).

fish-consumption

The chart is aimed especially at pregnant women and parents but we all should be aware of mercury content in the fish we eat. The FDA and others position fish as a healthier alternative to fatty meats, but mercury content is the wild card here that throws a wrench into all of that. Continue reading “New guidelines for safer fish consumption, will these be the last?”

Costco offers diabetes, heart-healthy shopping guide

Regular readers know I’m a big Costco shopper and usually deconstruct a Costco food court salad once a week for a lunch there after my shopping trip.costo-diabetes-book

You can find healthy items there, but like everywhere else, you need to know what to look for and you need to read labels, especially because products come and go at Costco. I’ve written about that before, click here to read that post.

You can download the booklet at this link: cdiabetesshoppingnov21

It covers the basics, so if you’ve researched food and diabetes or heart issues before you might not need it. but if you;re new to the topics, it’s a good first step.

 

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