Shop Healthy. Live Healthy

Shop Healthy. Live Healthy

Picking out healthy foods isn’t always straightforward. Products labeled “made with whole grain”, “multi-grain”, and “made with real fruit” can often sound more nutritious than they actually are – especially when you take a closer look at the Nutrition Facts labeling and the Ingredient List. With so many enticing labels calling out to you, how can you tell if a product is truly good for you or just healthy-sounding? At Kirk Market, we strive to make your shopping experience a healthy one, so here is a simple guide to helping you and your family make the healthiest product selections in our store:

Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereals

Always check the ingredient list first! Your healthiest choices are those that list a whole grain such as whole wheat, oats, barley, or brown rice as the first ingredient (ingredients are listed in descending order by weight). Although 100% bran cereals are not made with the entire grain kernel, you can consider them whole grain since they are a concentrated source of bran that is missing from refined grains.

What to look for?

  • Whole grain or 100% bran
  • At least 5 grams of fiber
  • No more than 6 grams of sugar (excluding sugar from dried fruit – then up to 14 grams is okay)
  • No more than 240 milligrams of sodium

Sliced Bread

Like breakfast cereals, you’ll need to read the ingredient list first to determine if that bread is truly “whole-grain”. Look for whole rye, rye meal, whole spelt, whole wheat, wheat germ. If it says “wheat flour” or “enriched flour” it is white (refined) flour!

What to look for?

  • At least 2 grams of fiber per 1-slice serving
  • No more than 200 milligrams of sodium per 1-slice serving
  • Approximately 80 calories per 1-slice serving

Frozen Meals

Depending on the type of frozen meal you select, you may need to supplement the meal with extra calories and nutrients: a glass of milk/non-dairy milk beverage and fruit for dessert are two ideal recommendations. If the meal you select doesn’t measure up in terms of vegetable content and fiber, then add your own on the side!

What to look for?

  • No more than 4 grams of saturated fat
  • Less than 700 milligrams of sodium
  • At least 4 grams of fiber (more fiber indicates more vegetable or legumes)
  • A daily value (D.V.) of 15% or more of vitamins A & C

Crackers & Crispbread

When comparing brands on crackers, pay attention to the serving size. Many companies list the number of crackers per standard 30-gram serving. Others, however, disclose nutrient numbers for a 20-gram portion or less.

What to look for?

  • Made from 100% whole grain flour
  • At least 3 grams of fiber
  • Trans fat free (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils indicate a presence of trans fat – check the ingredient list!)
  • No more than 1 gram of saturated fat
  • No more than 240 milligrams of sodium

Granola & Cereal Bars

The ingredient list will always help you determine if your granola or cereal bar selection is truly a healthy one.

What to look for?

  • Whole grain (first ingredient)
  • At least 2 grams of fiber
  • No more than 2 grams of saturated fat plus trans fat combined
  • No more than 140 milligrams of sodium
  • No more than 8 grams of sugar

Canned or Boxed Soups

The most nutritious soups are those made with beans and vegetables. Some commercial soups can pack a hefty dose of sodium so always read the label and compare brands.

What to look for?

  • At least 4 grams of fiber
  • Less than 2 grams of saturated fat
  • No more than 500 milligrams of sodium per 1-cup serving
  • At least 15% of the daily value (D.V.) for one of more of the following: vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, or calcium

Salad Dressing

Of course, the healthiest salad dressing is the one you make from scratch with a healthy oil and and little or no salt. But when pressed for time, commercial salad dressings are convenient (and healthy when you know what to look for). Be aware of fat-free dressings as the sugar and/or sodium content is higher than original full-fat versions. Your best bet is go as natural as possible and limit the serving to a maximum of two-tablespoons.

What to look for (per 2-tablespoon serving)?

  • Made with extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • Less than 300 milligrams of sodium

Yogurt

Unless you compare brands and numbers, many commercial yogurts can have as much fat and sugar as desserts!

What to look for?

  • Less than 180 calories
  • Less than 4 grams of total fat
  • Less than 20 grams of sugar
  • At least 5 grams of protein (Greek yogurts will offer a higher protein content which translates into more staying power!)
  • At least 20% the daily value (D.V.) for calcium