Shopping to Eat Smart


Aisle 1


A diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables in combination with an overall low-fat diet may help reduce risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals for your body to use to stay healthy and energetic. They may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. Eat 2 ½ cups vegetables and 2 cups fruit every day.


Meat and Seafood - Go lean with protein! Eat 5.5 oz every day.

Deli Meats

Choose low-fat choices: sliced roast beef, baked ham, turkey, and chicken breast. Lean meat has 3 grams of fat or less per 1 ounce serving (1 oz = 28.4 grams) and extra lean meat has 1.5 grams of fat per 1 ounce serving.Check the sodium content. Choose deli meats where the sodium is 20% of the Daily Value or less (Oscar Meyer and Land O’Frost) as increased sodium intake can increase your blood pressure.Deli meats are higher in sodium than fresh-prepared.


Fresh Meat


Frozen Meat - Stock up on frozen chicken, turkey breasts, and fish. Shrimp is higher in cholesterol, but lower in saturated fat than many protein choices. Avoid breaded meat and seafood!



Often high in sodium, carbohydrates, and/or fat. Check the food label for Daily Value of 5% or less for sodium, fat, and sugar.

Buy "No-Added-Salt" and “light” condiments when available

Better choices for Condiments because they are low in fat and sodium include: Miracle whip, light mayo, fat free mayo, Kraft® sandwich spread, Kraft® Tuna Salad Maker, most mustards, and vinegar.

Lite soy sauce is lower in sodium than regular, but still very high.

Salad Dressings

Look for “light” or “low fat” versions.

Experiment with flavored vinegars and make your own with oil, vinegar and herbs.

Best choices are vinegars, Dorothy Lynch® fat free; Maple Grove Farms of Vermont® Fat Free Poppy Seed and Raspberry ® Vinaigrette;

Not-to-bad choices are Kraft® Free varieties, Wishbone® Western Fat Free and Light varieties


Aisle 2 

Canned Vegetables and Fruits

Canned fruits and vegetables count towards your recommended daily intake as indicated in the produce section.

Using canned items allows for a larger variety of items to be on hand for a longer period of time.

Canned and frozen varieties can come with cost saving and/or time saving benefits as they are cleaned, washed, chopped and peeled as well as less expensive.


Vegetables – Vary your veggies!

Fruits – Focus on fruits!

Look for fruit packed in “light syrup” or “fruit juice”. If you have syrup-packed fruit, drain and rinse well under running cold water to remove a significant amount of the extra calories and carbohydrates.



Dried Beans


Packaged Food


Aisle 3


Snacks are a good way to meet recommended intakes for whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Be cautious of snacks that provide no real nutritional benefit.

Grains & Pasta – Make half your grains whole!

People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel (the bran, germ, and endosperm) and are higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 



Aisle 4 


Butter and Margarine: Know the limits on fats, sugars and salt!

Make the most of your fat sources from fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.


Aisle 5    


Cereal bars are a healthier alternative to cookies and candy bars. They have some nutritional fiber and vary in fiber, sugar, fat, and calorie content.


Milk Corner - Get your calcium-rich foods! Get 3 cups every day.

People who have a diet rich in milk and milk products can reduce the risk of low bone mass throughout their life cycle. Foods in the milk group provide calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. If you do not get 3 cups of milk and yogurt each day, you should take a calcium supplement.



Aisle 8



Frozen foods

Frozen and deli garlic breads are high in fat and calories.  Make your own garlic bread using Italian or French bread, light margarine and garlic powder. 




Frozen Desserts

Check portion sizes on the nutrition facts label for frozen desserts. Low fat, fat-free and sugar free still contain calories. Fudge bars, sugar-free popsicles, light ice cream, frozen yogurt, and skinny cow bars are low in fat and moderate to low in calories.
Bread – Make half your grains whole!

The first ingredient should be "whole _________ " (fill in the blank with: wheat; corn, cracked wheat, millet, oats, etc.) Look at the fiber content which should be 2-4 grams / slice if it's a whole grain.

“Light” breads are lower in calories than regular breads when compared slice for slice. Fiber is added to “light” bread, but it is not a whole grain.


Endorsement Statement:  The WILL Network does not endorse commercial products or companies even though reference may be made to trade names, trademarks or service names.

This handout was developed by Brenna Swanson, Registered Dietitian, for Cavalier County Memorial Hospital and Macine Lukach, Cavalier County Extension Agent, Nutrition, Food Safety and Health; Nutrition Education Agent, Family Nutrition Program.





Read It Before You Eat It!




This is a sample label of macaroni and cheese. Start by looking at the serving size and servings per container. Then check the calories. Thirdly, limit fats (total, saturated, trans), cholesterol, and sodium. Get enough of dietary fiber, vitamins (A,C),  and minerals (calcium, iron). Peruse the footnote. Skim over the %DV; 5% or less is low while 20% or more is high.