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Online learning resources for diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and nutrition.
Diabetes 101: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels, and your diet.
Diabetes 201: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugars, and your diet.
Asthma 101: Learn more about asthma and dealing with shortness of breath.
Hypertension 101: Learn more about hypertension and managing your blood pressure.
Nutrition 101: Learn more about improving your nutrition and diet

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Healthy Shopping, Cooking and Eating

Healthy Shopping, Cooking and Eating

Welcome back SavvyScholar! If the last lesson whet your appetite for healthy diet information, you are in for a real treat now. In this lesson, you will get the scoop on the following:

  • Making healthy choices at the grocery store
  • Healthy cooking tips
  • Dining out healthily
  • Healthy eating every day

Assignment #1

It's that time again...drum roll, please...quiz time! Before you jump into this lesson, test what you already know by taking the Healthy Eating Quiz. We tried to make it as straightforward as possible, so you should do just fine. If not, then read on and we're confident you'll ace it the second time around.

Food labels are our friends
Remember that. There is a wealth of dietary information on food labels that can assist you in selecting healthful foods on your shopping trip. Check the following information before tossing the item into your cart:

  • serving size
  • number of servings
  • calories (per serving)
  • total fat in grams
  • saturated fat in grams
  • cholesterol in milligrams
  • sodium in milligrams

The "% Daily Value" shows you the percentage of the recommended daily allowance of certain food components that you will get in one serving. This percentage is based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, so your daily needs may be higher or lower.

Keeping tabs on serving size
So, how can you use this information to select healthful items? First, pay close attention to the serving size and the number of servings per container. All labels list total nutrients and calories in a serving size of the product, however they can divide the serving size into whatever they feel is reasonable. For instance, a pint of low-fat ice cream may list 4 grams of fat per serving, but there may be 4 or more servings in the little tub. In that case, a serving size is a rather small scoop that packs 4 grams of fat and probably a lot of sugar. If you consume what you might consider to be a reasonable serving, you may be eating as much as twice the amount of fat and calories listed on the label.

All calories are not created equal
"Calorie counting" will only get you so far with food labels. As we learned in lesson #1, calories come from fat, protein and carbohydrates. You can spend your day eating 2000 calories of saturated fat and processed sugar, or you can eat 2000 calories of a balanced diet of complex carbohydrates, low-fat protein and unsaturated fat. You get 2000 calories either way, but there is a world of difference in the nutrition of both diets. So, just comparing the total calories in similar products doesn't cut it. You need to look at all of the information on both of the labels and pick the one that offers the lowest calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. If you still have a couple of items in the running, comparable along most of the measures listed above, pick the one with the most vitamins and minerals and the biggest serving size. This way, you are getting the most nutrition for your calories and your dollar.

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