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revised April 22, 2009

Supermarket Savvy Video

This amusing and educational 15 minute video lets you experience grocery shopping in a new way.  Go on a grocery store tour with a registered dietitian and learn about:

  1. Making the healthy choice the easy choice
  2. Canada’s Food Guide
  3. Decoding nutrition labels
  4. Tips on low-cost food options
  5. Foods from around the world



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Summary Notes

These notes are divided into topic areas and may not follow the sequence of the video.

Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide

  1. Canada’s Food Guide talks about how much food we need and what types of foods are a part of healthy eating
  2. It includes four food groups:
  3. Vegetables and fruit
  4. Grain products
  5. Milk and alternatives
  6. Meat and alternatives
  7. The amount of food a person needs everyday is based on their age, gender and appetite
  8. A balanced meal = 3 or more of the food groups
  9. A snack = 1or more food groups

Produce Section of the Grocery Store:

  1. Vegetable and fruits provide us with vitamins and minerals
  2. 1 medium fruit or ½ cup vegetables = 1 food guide serving
  3. Eat at least 1 dark green and 1 orange vegetable each day
  4. Buy in season produce from local farms or farmers markets
  5. Frozen and canned vegetables are cheap alternatives
  6. Jams and Jellies are not included in the vegetable and fruit food group

Fruit Juice and Drinks

  1. Water is your best choice for hydration
  2. If purchasing juice, buy unsweetened 100% fruit or vegetable juice
  3. Fruit juice has little fibre – that’s why it’s better to eat fruit
  4. Limit drinks, cocktails, punch and ades as they are mostly water and sugar
  5. Limit children’s juice intake daily:
    • 175 mL or less for 1-6 year olds
    • 250 mL or less for 7 years olds and up

Bakery Section of the Grocery Store:

  1. There is a large selection of grain products in this area
  2. Grains provide us with carbohydrates, some minerals and B vitamins.  They are usually low in fat and can be a good source of fibre
  3. Examples include: breads, pasta, rice, bulgur, barley and cereals
  4. Whole grains (e.g., corn, oats barley, brown and wild rice) contain all 3 parts of the kernel- bran, germ, endosperm
  5. Purchase bread that lists “whole grain whole wheat flour” at the beginning of the ingredient list since enriched wheat flour is not a whole grain
  6. For cereals focus on the fibre and sugar content
    • Aim for at least 2 grams of fibre
    • Choose cereals lower in sugar
  7. High fat and high sugar items, like cakes, croissants and cookies, are not grain products

Dairy Section of the Grocery Store:

  1. Calcium is important for developing strong bones and teeth, and to prevent osteoporosis.  Milk contains calcium and vitamin D, which helps our bodies to absorb calcium
  2. Drink 500ml of skim, 1%, 2% or fortified soy beverages to get enough vitamin D
  3. Select cheese with less than 20% M.F (milk fat)
  4. Select yogurts and cottage cheese that are 2% or less
  5.   
  6. Butter, margarine, cream, sour cream and cream cheese are not a part of this food group -- they are high in fat and low in calcium and protein
  7. Purchase yogurt in larger containers to save money

Deli Section of the Grocery Store:

  1. Meat and alternatives provide us with protein, fat, some B vitamins and minerals (e.g. iron)
  2. Choose lean meats and poultry:
    • look for the words “lean”  “extra lean” and “round cuts”
  3. Select lean deli products like chicken, turkey, ham, or roast beef
  4. A serving size of meat =  75g (2.5 oz), and is almost the size of a deck of cards
  5. Legumes, including beans, lentils and peas, are a part of the meat and alternatives group  and are a good source of fibre
    • Dried legumes are cheaper than canned
    • Rinse canned products to reduce sodium

Adding Fat to Meals:

  1. The human body requires some fat for good health
  2. Unsaturated fats are healthy fats and are found in:
    • Plant-based oils, salad dressings, and non-hydrogenated margarines
    • Except coconut and palm oil.

Food Labels:

  1. Use Food labels to make healthier choices when grocery shopping
  2. The nutrition facts table has 3 types of information:
    • Serving size: This amount is to be used more as a reference for comparing what you eat and comparing food products.
    • Calories: Listed for this particular serving size
    • Key Nutrients: Amounts and Percent Daily Value (%DV) are listed for the particular serving size.
  3. %DV: Helps to understand the nutrient content of foods and to compare products to determine if there is a little or a lot of a nutrient in a serving
    • Choose foods with less than 5% DV for total fat and sodium
    • Choose foods with less than 10% DV for saturated and trans fat
    • Choose foods with more than 15% DV for fibre, calcium, iron, and other important nutrients more often
  4. The ingredient list tells you what is in the product, by weight, from most to least

Wise Shopping Tips:

  1. Shop in the outer area of the grocery store to find less processed foods
  2. Foods from the inner isles are usually pre-packaged, processed and cost more- but you will still find some healthy options like pasta, cereals, and rice
  3. Products at eye level are often more expensive
  4. Read the food labels of frozen food – some may be high in sodium and fat so compare the Percent Daily Value (%DV)
  5. Most grocery stores have international sections with mouth watering cuisines from all over the world
    • Try a new food item from a different culture each month – bok choy, dahl, whole-wheat roti, feta on a pizza
    • Some International pre-packaged foods may be high in sugar, sodium and fat- so read their labels

Key Shopping Tips:
Choose:

  1. Colourful vegetables and fruits (fresh, frozen or canned)
  2. Water, low fat milk and a limited amount of 100% unsweetened juice to satisfy your thirst
  3. Low fat dairy products (milk, yogurt and cheese)
  4. Low fat whole grains
  5. Lean meats and alternatives (such as beans)
  6. Frozen foods with lower fat and salt
  7. Healthier foods from all around the world

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Revised: April 22, 2009

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