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Quick GuideGrocery Smarts: Fat Foods vs. Fit Foods
Top 10 foods to put on your grocery list
Here are some foods that experts say should be on any health-conscious shopper's grocery list:
- Tomatoes. These juicy, red fruits are loaded with the antioxidant lycopene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in women.
- Low-fat proteins. Good sources of lean protein include seafood, skinless white-meat poultry, eggs, lean beef (tenderloin, sirloin, eye of round), and skim or low-fat yogurts, milk, and cheeses. Some research has indicated that a diet moderately high in protein can keep hunger at bay, and thus help you lose weight.
- Whole grains, oats, and fibrous foods. Fiber helps your digestive tract work properly and lowers cholesterol levels while keeping your belly feeling full. Whole grains also contain antioxidants, are fat free, and are easy to fit into your diet.
- Berries (red and blue), including grapes. Berries are loaded with vitamins and minerals, as well as phytochemicals with cancer-fighting properties. Red grapes, in the form of one glass of red wine daily, may even reduce the risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. (If you're a nondrinker, check with a doctor before starting.)
- Nuts. A handful of almonds, cashews, pecans, or walnuts provides fiber, vitamin E, and healthful, monounsaturated fats. Just watch your portion size; these nutritious nuggets are high in calories.
- Fish and fish oil contain omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce the risk of heart disease by protecting the heart against inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, or sardines at least twice a week.
- Unsaturated fats such as olive, canola, and soybean oils are the best kind of fats.
- Low-fat dairy products provide plenty of calcium to help keep bones and teeth strong, are a great source of protein, and may even enhance weight loss, according to some research.
- Vegetables are a healthful eater's best friend. All veggies, except avocadoes, are fat-free and loaded with disease-fighting phytochemicals.
- Legumes (like pinto, garbanzo, kidney and black beans and lentils) are underrated. The lowly bean is naturally fat free and loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, especially iron. They add few calories, but keep you feeling full.
For additional information read 10 Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping.
Published February, 2006.
SOURCES: Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD. WebMD feature How to Read a Nutrition Label, by Leanna Skarnulis, published Aug. 13, 2004.
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