Expert Shares Tips on Healthy Shopping

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EDINBURG – A dietitian says shopping healthy is easy when you learn the tricks of the trade.

Freshman year of college isn’t easy, especially on the body.

“I gained the freshman 50!” says Brianna Gomez.

She says the weight she put on transitioning to life at the University of Rio Grande Valley affected her on a daily basis.

“I wasn’t happy with the way that I looked. I didn’t have energy and I was really looking for lifestyle changes and I needed to start somewhere,” she says.

Gomez says several months ago, she started being stricter about the food she bought at the grocery store. Now, she’s lost 35 of those 50 pounds.

Dietitian Iliana Martinez says being a picky grocery shopper is always a good idea. She recommends choosing products from the perimeter of the store only.

“Your fruits, your vegetables, your meats, your proteins, your dairy that you are going to usually find as soon as you walk in and just as you walk outside of the store,” she explains.

Martinez says the products you find in the center of the store are modified to be preserved. That’s not the best things for your body.

“When they preserve them, they just add sodium for preservatives,” she says.

Martinez adds you may want to do a little research before you fill your shopping cart.

“I tell people [to] really get used to the idea of reading labels,” she says.

She tells us there are three key areas to focus on.

“One serving size, two total carbohydrates – the number next to the G, and three would be sodium,” she lists.

Martinez explains ignoring those numbers could lead to hypertension, high blood pressure or diabetes. She says when you shop for a sweet post-dinner treat, leave the packaged products on the shelves.

She says choosing the right fruit can give you all the sweet you need.

“Your fruits that typically tend to be in season are going to be riper, so they are going to be sweeter,” she explains.

She adds fruits which have edible skin like apples, strawberries and grapes contain a high amount of fiber. She says that helps regulate glucose levels.

Gomez tells us now that she knows how to shop, she won’t gain another 50 pounds ever, regardless of where life takes her next. 

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