With so many different brands and varieties of every single item in the grocery store, it can be hard to know which products are better for you. And who has time to read all those labels? Here, I’ve broken down some pantry staples to make your mega-mart trip just a little easier.
Goodbye: Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise (90 cal., 10g fat, 90mg sodium)
Good Buy: Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil (45 cal., 4g fat, 95mg sodium)
With half the calories and less than half the fat per serving, this is a no-brainer.
Goodbye: La Choy Soy Sauce (10 cal., 0g fat, 1,160mg sodium)
Good Buy: Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce (10 cal., 0g fat, 575mg sodium)
Since the American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,400mg of sodium per day, Kikkoman is the clear winner here.
Goodbye: Hidden Valley The Original Ranch (140 cal., 14g fat, 260mg sodium)
Good Buy: Annie’s Naturals Organic Buttermilk (60 cal., 6g fat, 230mg sodium)
Maybe that valley should have stayed hidden.
Goodbye: KC Masterpiece Original (60 cal., 0g fat, 12g sugar, 240mg sodium)
Good Buy: Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Sauce (30 cal., 0g fat, 4g sugar, 220mg sodium)
With as much sugar as a cup of Nestle Hot Chocolate, KC is clearly not the best choice.
Goodbye: Kellogg’s Eggo Original Syrup (240 cal., 0g fat, 40g sugar)
Good Buy: Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Syrup (30 cal., 0g fat, 0g sugar)
Maple Grove is not only sugar free, but it uses Splenda instead of aspartame. Sweet!
Butter & Margarine
Goodbye: Imperial Vegetable Oil Spread (80 cal., 8g fat [2g trans], 105mg sodium)
Good Buy: Land O’Lakes Whipped Butter, unsalted (50 cal., 6g fat, 0mg sodium)
Less calories and fat, and no trans fat or sodium, puts Land O’Lakes way above the competition.
Goodbye: Yoplait Original 99% Fat Free Strawberry (170 cal., 1.5g fat, 27g sugar)
Good Buy: Fage Total 2% Greek Style (90 cal., 0g fat, 7g sugar)
Yogurt is supposed to be a healthy choice; Yoplait clearly didn’t get the memo.
Goodbye: Kraft Shredded Sharp Cheddar (110 cal., 9g fat [6g sat. fat], 170mg sodium)
Good Buy: Kraft Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella (80 cal., 6g fat [3.5 sat. fat], 200mg sodium)
Even though it has a tiny bit more sodium, the mozzarella’s fat counts make it the better pick.
Goodbye: Barilla Penne (200 cal., 1g fat, 2g fiber)
Good Buy: Ronzoni Smart Taste Penne Rigate (180 cal., 1g fat, 6g fiber)
The fiber boost from Ronzoni makes it taste that much better.
Goodbye: Newman’s Own Organic Tomato & Basil Bombolina (90 cal., 4.5g fat, 620mg sodium)
Good Buy: Classico Tomato & Basil (50 cal., 1g fat, 380mg sodium)
Newman’s Own just proves organic is not always better; you still need to check the labels.
Goodbye: Mission Multi-Grain Wraps (210 cal., 6g fat, 7g fiber)
Good Buy: La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Tortillas (80 cal., 3g fat, 12g fiber)
Better in every way, La Tortilla’s wrap builder really is smart.
Goodbye: Arnold Natural Health Nut (200 cal., 4g fat, 6g fiber)
Good Buy: Martin’s 100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread (140 cal., 2g fat, 8g fiber)
It looks like the true “health nuts” should opt for Martin’s.
Goodbye: Buddig Deli Cuts Smoked Turkey (90 cal., 5g fat, 600mg sodium)
Good Buy: Hormel Natural Choice Smoked Deli Turkey (50 cal., 1g fat, 450mg sodium)
In addition to having fewer calories, fat, and sodium, Hormel’s Natural Choice is also nitrate-, nitrite-, and growth hormone-free.
Goodbye: Jif Reduced Fat (190 cal., 12g fat, 210mg sodium)
Good Buy: Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter, Creamy (200 cal., 16g fat, 105mg sodium)
I know what you’re thinking – Smucker’s has more fat. You’re right, but it’s also made with just peanuts and salt, so that fat is the healthy kind found in the nuts, not the yucky kind found in whatever those other guys are adding to their recipe.
Goodbye: Welch’s Concord Grape Jelly (50 cal., 0g fat, 13g sugar)
Good Buy: Smucker’s Simply Fruit Blueberry (40 cal., 0g fat, 8g sugar)
Not a big difference in the other departments, but the sugar is where it counts when it comes to jelly.
What have we learned? There’s a big difference between different brands of products, and it pays to know who’s who in your grocery store. Want to make life even easier? Print this guide and keep it in your coupon organizer, so you’ll never leave home without it. Happy Shopping!
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