On the off chance that we run into each other at the grocery store, I guarantee you’ll find me poring over the ingredient list on the back of a package. I love food shopping and often spend hours perusing the aisles in search of the healthiest—and cheapest—items on the shelves. Then I head home to make delicious budget-friendly meals . But when I go to the store with my fiancé (who hates to shop), it has to be a quick in-and-out. Only price comparisons allowed! There’s no time to find the most nutritious cereal, pasta sauce, soup, etc. It’s sooo frustrating!
My savior: The latest rating system to hit supermarkets awards points to foods based on how nutritious they are. This easy-to-use tool allows me to compare foods sitting side-by-side on the grocery shelf.
Here’s how some common items in my grocery cart stack up:
Orange (100) vs. Apple (96)
An orange’s high vitamin C, folate and potassium content give it a perfect score. Apples , high in fiber yet relatively lower in other nutrients, score slightly lower.
Whole-Wheat Spaghetti (91) vs. Spaghetti (49)
Whole-wheat spaghetti has twice as much fiber as white spaghetti. It also contains magnesium and zinc, two nutrients found naturally in whole grains .
Steel-cut oats (60) vs. Honey Nut Instant Oatmeal (28)
The added sugar and salt in honey nut–flavored instant oatmeal bring its score down by more than half.
Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D. , Healthy Cooking Blog
Brierley's interest in nutrition and food come together in her position as nutrition editor at EatingWell. Brierley holds a master’s degree in Nutrition Communication from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. A Registered Dietitian, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Vermont.
Tell us what you think: