June 10, 2014

Rule of tongue: eat rainbows

The Go Red Plattsburgh BetterU challengers scooted over to a “Healthy Eating Store Tour” at Hannaford’s two Wednesdays ago.

We learned to eat rainbows — red, blue, purple, green and yellow — fruits and vegetables every day.

Sabine Weber, Hannaford’s dietitian, showed us how to make healthy food choices for the rest of our lives.

If you want to eat better and think as little as possible about it, reach for the “Guiding Stars, nutritious choices made simple” in Hannaford’s, which rates healthy-food items with one, two or three stars.

“Typically all of your fresh fruits and vegetables have three stars,” Weber said. “If it has one star, it’s usually rated healthier than comparable products, meaning less sodium, more vitamins and minerals, more fiber, better fats, that type of thing.”

Hannaford’s not only rates its brand but other brands as well.

Weber discussed the two ss’s, salt and sugar. The recommended daily allowance for sodium is now 1,500 milligrams. It used to be 4,000 on a low-sodium diet. One teaspoon of salt has 2,300 milligrams. (A gram is a standard unit of mass in the metric system. Four grams equals one teaspoon.)

Eclipse Fitness & Spa professional trainer Michelle Mosher drilled in us that a carb is a carb is a carb but a gram is not a gram is not a gram: 1 fat gram equals 9 calories, 1 carbohydrate gram equals 4 calories and 1 protein gram equals 4 calories.

“A lot of people look at labels, I look at a percentage of sodium, but if you’re buying a lot of prepackaged items and it says less than 10 percent, it can still add up throughout the day,” Weber said.

The American Heart Association, our Go Red sponsor, recommends no more than 36 grams (324 calories/9 teaspoons) of added sugar for men and no more than 24 grams (216 calories/six teaspoons) of added sugar for women. If this is Greek yogurt to you, use a free calorie counter such as My Fitness Pal available online.

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