Grocery Shopping: How to Stock a Healthy Fridge (cont.)

You can also buy egg substitutes, made mostly from egg whites. I prefer Egg Beaters brand because it seems to perform better in recipes. In egg-based recipes, it usually works well to use half real eggs and half egg substitute. One-fourth cup of Egg Beaters has 30 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, and 115 mg sodium (along with 15% Daily Value for vitamin A and folic acid, 10% for vitamin D, and 4% for vitamin E).

Meat and Poultry

With beef and pork, the key is to buy leaner cuts, trim any visible fat before cooking, and cook with as little fat as possible (and use olive oil or canola oil when you do add a little fat).

What are the leaner cuts of meat? Better choices in most supermarkets include:

  • Beef and pork roasts
  • Stew meat
  • Round tip steak
  • Top round strips
  • London broil
  • Top sirloin
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Center-cut pork loin chops

And let your eyes guide you. With beef, the darker red the cut, the leaner it tends to be. (A lighter color means more fat and marbling.) The same rule does not apply to pork, but white fat and marbling is usually visible in the fattier cuts.

Here's what some of the leaner options add up to:

  • Ground beef, 7% fat: 4 ounces raw has 160 calories, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium.
  • London broil: 3 ounces broiled steak contains 176 calories, 8.5 g fat, 3.7 g saturated fat (3.5 g monounsaturated fat, 0.3 g polyunsaturated fat), 57 mg cholesterol, 70 mg sodium.
  • Beef rump roast: 3 ounces of lean, braised roast has 167 calories, 5.7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat (2.6 g monounsaturated fat, 0.2 g polyunsaturated fat), 81 mg cholesterol, 43 mg sodium.
  • Pork tenderloin: 3 ounces roasted tenderloin has 140 calories, 4 g fat, 1.4 g saturated fat (1.6 g monounsaturated fat, 0.4 g polyunsaturated fat), 67 mg cholesterol, 47 mg sodium.

Poultry can be a lean choice, but not always. About half of the fat in chicken is in the skin, so take it off -- all off. Thigh meat has more fat and cholesterol than light meat, but it also has a little more iron, zinc, and vitamins E and B-2. Breast meat, though, has more vitamin B-3, vitamin B-6, and magnesium than thigh meat.

When buying ground turkey or chicken, check the label. Look for products with the same amount of fat or less than ground beef with 7% fat. Here are some comparisons:

  • Foster Farms ground turkey, lean: 4 ounces raw has 150 calories, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, and 80 mg sodium.
  • Jennie-O ground turkey breast, extra lean: 4 ounces raw has 120 calories, 1.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium.
  • Chicken breast, without skin: 1 skinless, roasted breast (3 ounces) has 142 calories, 3.1 g fat, 0.9 g saturated fat (1.1 g monounsaturated fat, 0.7 g polyunsaturated fat), 73 mg cholesterol, 63 mg sodium.
  • Chicken thigh, without skin: 3 ounces skinless, roasted thigh has 180 calories, 9.4 g fat, 2.6 g saturated fat (3.6 g monounsaturated fat, 2.1 g polyunsaturated fat), 82 mg cholesterol, 76 mg sodium.

The Deli Drawer

The sodium is pretty high in processed meats, but there are leaner choices, like turkey and chicken breast and lean ham. For lunch meats, look for 97% fat free on the label. For higher-fat deli meats, like salami and pepperoni, you'll find some 50%-less fat (or more) choices.


"Just two words about fresh produce: Get some!"

A few examples:

  • Hillshire Farm Deli Select Honey Ham: 2 ounces has 60 calories, 1.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, and 500 mg sodium.
  • Gallo Light Salami 50% less fat: 5 slices (29 grams) has 60 calories, 4 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, and 520 mg sodium.
  • Hormel 70% less fat: 17 slices (30 grams) has 80 calories, 4 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, and 600 mg sodium.

Hot dogs and franks are also high in sodium. But look for products with less fat and saturated fat, as well as those with added antioxidants (vitamins C or E as ascorbic acid, ascorbate or tocopherol, or P-coumaricband chlorogenic acids). Antioxidants help stop the formation of nitrosamines, which are known to have carcinogenic activity. Nitrosamines are formed during the breakdown of nitrates and nitrites, which are added to some processed meats.

Here are a couple of light hot dog choices:

  • Oscar Mayer Louis Rich 1/3 Less Fat Turkey Franks: 1 frank (45 grams) has 100 calories, 8 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, and 510 mg sodium.
  • Ball Park Lite Franks: 1 frank (50 grams) has 100 calories, 7 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, and 460 mg sodium.

When buying sausage and links, find products that have cut the extra fat yet still look and taste like "sausage." You'll find quite a few selections, such as:

  • Hillshire Farms Turkey Polska Kielbasa: 2 ounce serving has 90 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 35 mg cholesterol, and 540 mg sodium.
  • Butterball Lean Turkey Polska Kielbasa: 2 ounce serving contains 100 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, and 610 mg sodium.
  • Healthy Choice Polska Kielbasa or Lowfat Smoked Sausage: 2 ounce serving of either has 80 calories, 2.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, and 480 mg sodium.
  • Jimmy Dean 50% less fat pork sausage: A 70 gram serving has 170 calories, 13 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, and 450 mg sodium.
  • Jennie-O Turkey Breakfast Sausage Links: 2 links (56 grams) has 140 calories, 11 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, and 360 mg sodium.
  • Jennie-O Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage:1 large link (109 grams) has 160 calories, 10 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, and 670 mg sodium.

Bacon, quite simply, is mostly pork fat. So if you want pork bacon, your only choice is center-cut bacon, which has 25%-30% less fat than typical bacon. Or try some of the better turkey bacons:

  • Louis Rich Turkey Bacon (65% less fat than USDA data for pork bacon): 1 slice (14 grams) has 35 calories, 2.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, and 180 mg sodium.
  • Oscar Mayer Center Cut Bacon (30% lower fat than USDA data for pork bacon): 2 slices (12 grams) has 50 calories, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, and 270 mg sodium.
  • Hormel Center Cut Bacon (25% lower fat than USDA data for pork bacon): 2 slices (14 grams) has 70 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, and 300 mg sodium.