Buying Healthier Foods

Even when you try to buy and make foods that are healthier, sometimes the changes simply don't make the grade. Here are three of my favorite products and a few ideas for their use:

You and your family loves JIF peanut butter. Every time you've tried to find a healthier version, you're really turned off from all the oil that separates out and rises to the top.Many have sugar and salt added for flavor and hydrogenated oil to prevent oil separation. And that's exactly what we grew up eating, so that's what we like. Even the "Natural" peanut butters can have added palm oil, a highly saturated fat that is solid at room temperature. Yes, it keeps the oil from rising to the top, but it also adds heart unhealthy fat.  Try to find peanut butter with one ingredient: peanuts. Then keep it in the refrigerator upside down. Result: a creamy spread rich in heart healthy fat!

Now what do added to that peanut butter sandwich for a little sweet taste. Jam, jelly, and preserves are both high sugar, which you are try to cut down on. Either use a smaller amount of the jam you love, or try a product like
Simply Fruit, which is just that: fruit. No added sugar. Another option would be to find a jam made with artificial sweeteners. Both of these are great stirred into plain yogurt, providing that fruity taste you love without the added calories from sugar. Better yet, reach for fresh fruit, and slice a banana on the peanut butter sandwich for a PBF or into your yogurt---yum!

If you are a health-conscious Cream of Wheat lover, you are probably sadly aware that your favorite farina is not a whole grain. I found the whole grain variety! Unfortunately, it's not carried in many stores yet. I have written to two area grocery stores requesting that they carry it, so keep your fingers crossed. Always reach find the manager or email the company to ask for those healthier options. The more people who ask, the more likely those stores will carry them. There's always power in numbers.

What some of your favorite healthier foods?