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11 Grocery Shopping Mistakes That Are Wrecking Your Diet.


We’ve all gone to the grocery store for two things – and walked out with a cart full of snacks we didn’t exactly need. Here is how to plan your next trip for a smarter haul.

1. You forgot to eat lunch.Healthy eating tips

Yes, you may have heard the “don’t go grocery shopping when you’re starving” thing before — but there’s a good reason for it. Not only are you susceptible to overspending, but you’re also more likely to overeat what you do bring home. So whenever you’re heading to the store, make sure you’ve had a snack or a meal first — your wallet and waistline will thank you.

2. You’re unprepared.

Going to the supermarket without a list is like walking into the SATs without studying. (Well, close enough.) Feeling unprepared makes you vulnerable to poor choices — much like going in hungry! If that slip of paper usually gets left on the kitchen counter, make a list on your phone. Bonus: Then you can also use recipes from cooking apps or photos of favorite cookbook pages.

3. You start on aisle #5.

Bear with me: There’s a strategy to the way a supermarket is laid out. Shopping the perimeter first loads up the cart with the good stuff like fresh fruits and veggies, dairy products, and whole grains. Then, the chips, cookies, crackers, cakes, and soda that line the inner aisles have less room to squeeze into. This theory, also applies to mealtime, too: Fill your plate with with these healthy items, and leave whatever “room” you’ve got left for dessert.

That said, hit up perishable or frozen items last: That will help keep the food you’re prepping stay at the appropriate temperature. Safety first!

4. You beeline for the deli counter.

I’m always in favor of a good, healthy sandwich — but not all deli meats (and cheeses!) are created equal. Many can come loaded with sodium, so even if it’s something lower in fat (like turkey), it may still be chock-full of salt. The better bet: Rotisserie chicken or roast beef. To top it off, pick reduced-sodium cheeses, or swap those slices for 2 tablespoons of hummus or a couple slices of avocado.

5. You’re only shopping “organic.”

Sure, buying organic foods can be beneficial and sometimes safer. But keep in mind it’s most important to buy food that’s healthy. Don’t let the fact that a food is part of the “dirty dozen” (like spinach or kale) keep you from just buying the regular version if your budget doesn’t allow for organic right now. All or nothing attitudes for food and health may not be 100% sustainable for your lifestyle 100% of the time. (Plus, organic food may not be worth the skyrocketing costs.) The bottom line is that some veggies always beat no veggies in your cart!

6. You skimmed the nutrition facts — but not the ingredients.

Fruit juice concentrate and puree aren’t technically added sugar according to the FDA, but they add extra calories to a food item you could eat in a more nutritious form. For example, look for fruit-based products that say “mangoes” or “strawberries” as the first ingredient instead of mango or strawberry puree, and avoid ingredients like “apple juice concentrate.”

7. You’ve stocked up on the wrong things.

I’m looking at you, “lower-calorie,” “reduced fat,” and 100-calorie packs. Let me explain: Those tiny packs are often unsatisfying empty calories, so you’re more likely to blow through a couple at once. If you’re looking for a snack that will give you a real energy boost, go for protein and fiber combos, like fruit with peanut butter or cheese with whole-grain crackers.

And the same goes for low-cal and reduced fat items. Without the fat, they’re often not as filling so it’s easier to overdo it. Also, when you remove the fat, it’s typically replaced with something — usually sugar. (Frozen yogurt is the worst culprit.) Unless you’re choosing items that cut down on fat without added sweeteners or fillers (good examples include light mayonnaise, low-fat milk, or popcorn made with less oil), you may be better off with the real thing.

8. You’re skipping the freezer aisle.

Sure, you’re avoiding the temptations of ice cream, pizza, and a slate of other treats that remind you of childhood. While I can’t fault your risk aversion, you’re missing out on some frozen gems. They shouldn’t be the bulk of your grocery list, but frozen fruits and veggies along with breads, waffles, and pancakes made from 100% whole grains, and even a single-serving ice cream sandwich can help you make smarter choices.

9. You skipped the canned goods.

First, stop judging: This aisle has more than the slimy green beans of your childhood memories! Canned beans, lentils, chickpeas, and fish (tuna, salmon, sardines, and anchovies) can be incredibly healthy and convenient. Plus, my personal favorite canned food is pumpkin — try it in Greek yogurt with cinnamon and a little honey! Just look for lower-sodium options (140 milligrams or less of salt per serving), canned in water when possible, and drain and rinse before eating.

10. You bought it “on sale.”

Would you normally eat that? If not, a sale isn’t enough reason. When it comes to discount items, double up on things you know you’ll use and that are good for you, like eggs, yogurt, canned or frozen foods, and pantry items like nuts and nut butters.

11. You didn’t make an impulse purchase.

Listen, those little last-minute buys at the checkout line (including the latest issue of Good Housekeeping!) can be well worth it — if you do it right. You’ve already got a cart full of good foods you need, and none of the bad stuff you don’t. So it’s okay to buy a single-serving chocolate bar or candy. Why? Because when you skip large quantities of fatty processed foods, sugary beverages, and other sneaky stuff, you leave room for a smart indulgence that satisfies your sweet tooth and won’t make you feel deprived. So, enjoy!

By Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Good Housekeeping Institute/ Aug 9, 2018


Tis’ the Season for Gout

It’s that time of year again! Pass the gravy, and the butter, and the roast… *gobble* *gobble*.

I know it’s hard to stop yourself when looking down the table and looking at the gibblets, let alone the egg nog brandy, wine, and otherwise incredible sights and smells of the holiday season. That is, of course, unless you have gout. Gout was one considered the “rich man’s” disease for a reason, and when you look at our holiday spreads it’s easier to see why. But just because you have gout doesn’t mean you should lock yourself in a closet until the tinsel is put away… so let’s talk. Continue reading “Tis’ the Season for Gout”

The Truth About Carbs

Are carbohydrates good for you or will they cause weight gain?

Carbohydrates have a bad reputation and a lot of people who are trying to lose weight end up avoiding them like the plague. But, a majority of nutritionists would agree that carbs are 100 percent necessary for peak athletic performance and a well-balanced diet. Continue reading “The Truth About Carbs”

How To Avoid Weight Gain Over The New Year

Feeling doughy after the holidays? Try a few of these tips to cut the fat out of your diet!

Healthy Diet Tips from Our Pentucket Medical Specialists

Winter is a time for family, gift-giving, traditions and delicious food. Unfortunately for those trying to lose weight, being surrounded by many unhealthy food options can be detrimental to all the hard progress you’ve made this year. How do you deal with staying healthy without sacrificing the joys of delicious winter comfort food?

Continue reading “How To Avoid Weight Gain Over The New Year”

Yogurt uncovered: What’s in your cup?


Yogurt is an age old snack that can be found in everything from Middle Eastern dishes to the briefcase of a rushing commuter. Yes, it’s nutritious but there is more to it than most people think.

How is it made?

Yogurt is basically heated, pasteurized milk with added good bacteria. You need good bacteria to keep your gut (ground zero for the immune system) healthy.

The milk is heated at a precise temperature to maximize good bacteria activity. Once the bacteria converts to lactic acid it thickens the milk and gives it that tangy, original yogurt taste. Fruit is added to produce more flavors.

What are the benefits of eating yogurt?

Good bacteria is just one of the many benefits of consuming yogurt. Here are a few more:

  • Protein – The US Department of Agriculture reports that 6-ounces of plain skim milk yogurt (like the Greek kind) has practically no fat and contains about 9.7 grams of protein (4 ounces of beef contains about 35 grams). Plain low fat yogurt contains approximately 8.9 grams and yogurt made with whole milk about 5.9 grams. High fat yogurt contains less protein.
  • Calcium – Most plain low fat yogurt comes in at around 415 mg or 42% of your recommended daily dose of calcium.
  • Other – Some other nutritional benefits of yogurt include vitamin D, potassium, folate, phosphorous and magnesium.
  • Type 2 Diabetes – A Harvard School of Public Health study found that, “higher consumption of yogurt was associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.”
  • Heart Helper – Consuming fat-free and low-fat yogurt may help lower your risk of developing high blood pressure.

Choose Your Yogurt Wisely

Yogurt is a healthy option when it contains less fat and more protein which is a building block for muscles and other bodily functions. The problem, however, is when certain advertising masks the high fat and/or sugar content in some yogurts. For example, some yogurts now include mix-in candy and sugar coated granola bits in the cap, processed sugary fruit and honey, or dyes. All of these may cause weight gain or other problems related to fat and sugar. Also, if you are lactose intolerant the dairy in yogurt could be a problem.

The Every Food

Yogurt may be considered by some to only be a breakfast food or midday snack but there are many ways to add it to your diet.

You can:

  • Replace sour cream with original yogurt in things like potatoes or soup
  • Add seasoning to plain yogurt and use it as a vegetable or chip dip
  • Cut half the oil out of a baking recipe and replace with yogurt
  • Add to meat dishes like chicken, a cheesesteak sandwich or lamb
  • Use as a face exfoliant (yes really, it’s great for the skin)

Benefits of Eating Vegetables

Everyone knows they’re supposed to eat at least two cups of vegetables every day to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. However, there are even more health benefits to getting the recommended serving of vegetables.

Eating vegetables daily can:

  • Reduce the risk for stroke and a range of other cardiovascular diseases
  • Reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce the risk of mouth, stomach and colon cancer
  • Lower the chance of developing kidney stones
  • Helps decrease bone loss
  • Assists with weight loss due to low calorie intake

What Nutrients are Found in Vegetables?

Most vegetables are potassium rich, which helps with maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
A majority of vegetables contain a good amount of dietary fiber, which helps you feel full with fewer calories.

Vegetables have a high amount of vitamin A, which keeps eyes and skin healthy. Vitamin E, which protects essential fatty acids from cell oxidation, is found in vegetables. Because vegetables contain vitamin C, they can help speed up cuts and wounds and keep gums healthy.

Green Smoothie for Weight Loss

weight loss smoothies

Replace one meal a day with this healthy, five-ingredient green smoothie for weight loss and watch the pounds melt off! The combination of protein, fiber and super foods gives your body the nutrients it needs and keeps you full for hours, reducing snacking.

Ingredients for Green Smoothie

● 1 medium banana
● 1 small avocado
● 2 cups spinach
● 1 green apple
● 1 cup plain Greek yogurt


1. Blend yogurt, avocado, banana, spinach and apple until smooth.
2. Pulse mixture as needed.
3. Scrape down the sides of the blender a few times to ensure you get all the ingredients.


● Calories – 534
● Carbohydrates – 62.94
● Fiber – 17.5
● Protein – 18.62

Find the original recipe at

How to Avoid Eating Out of Boredom

tips on avoiding eating out of boredom

Differentiating between hunger and boredom is more complicated than it seems. Follow these simple tips to stop yourself from snacking when bored:

1. Have a glass of water instead

Thirst can often be misconstrued for hunger. Try having a glass of water and waiting 30 minutes to see if you’re still hungry.

2. Question yourself

If you find yourself standing at your refrigerator door for a snack when you have nothing else to do, stop and ask yourself if you’re really hungry. Figure out if you’re eating because you’re stressed, bored or upset before grabbing a handful of potato chips.

3. Cut back on TV time

A majority of people have a habit of snacking while watching their favorite TV shows. If you catch yourself snacking with watching TV, try to get up and move around instead of being a couch potato. You could also replace a bowl of popcorn with a set of free weights to sneak in exercise while keeping up with your favorite shows.

4. Plan out healthy snacks

Snacks get a bad rap, but they could also be a health addition to any diet. Plan out one or two small, healthy snacks in between meals so you’re in control of your cravings. Adding just one cup of fruit to your daily diet can help curb late-night snack cravings

5. Chew gum

Chewing gum keeps your mouth busy and may even help you burn calories. Try sugar free gum that comes in fun flavors such as birthday cake, root beer float and even mint chocolate chip to satisfy your sweet tooth for fewer calories.

6. Make a hunger diary

For the first few weeks of a weight loss journey, recording your food and thoughts when consuming food is a good idea. Writing down your thoughts will help you identify the times you eat out of boredom and will also help you stop eating out of boredom in the future.

Health Benefits of Drinking Warm Lemon Water

benefits of lemon water

Drinking warm lemon water is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to keep yourself healthy!

Here are 16 reasons to add warm lemon water to your diet:

  1. Lemon is an excellent and rich source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient that protects the body against immune system deficiencies
  2. Lemons contain pectin fiber which is very beneficial for colon health and also serves as a powerful antibacterial
  3. It balances maintain the pH levels in the body
  4. Having warm lemon juice early in the morning helps flush out toxins
  5. It aids digestion and encourages the production of bile
  6. It is also a great source citric acid, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium
  7. It helps prevent the growth and multiplication of pathogenic bacteria that cause infections and diseases
  8. It helps reducing pain and inflammation in joints and knees as it dissolves uric acid
  9. It helps cure the common cold
  10. The potassium content in lemon helps nourish brain and nerve cells
  11. It strengthens the liver by providing energy to the liver enzymes when they are too dilute
  12. It helps balance the calcium and oxygen levels in the liver In case of a heart burn, taking a glass of concentrated lemon juice can give relief
  13. It is of immense benefit to the skin and it prevents the formation of wrinkles and acne
  14. It helps maintain the health of the eyes and helps fight against eye problems
  15. Aids in the production of digestive juices
  16. Lemon juice helps replenish body salts especially after a strenuous workout session


Heart Healthy Foods

best foods for your heart


Eating fruits, vegetables and high-fiber foods is important for a variety of reasons, including keeping your heart healthy. Even though there’s no cure for preventing heart disease, eating a few of these foods every day can lower your risk of heart disease:

  • Salmon – Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, have been proven to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Because of the low mercury count, salmon can be eaten several times a week.
  • Almonds – Almonds lower your risk of cardiovascular disease for a variety of reasons. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, fiber and heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
  • Red Wine – Cheers to a healthy heart! The catechins and resveratrol in red wine improve your good HDL and decrease your risk of heart disease.
  • Brown Rice – High-food fibers, such as brown rice, are great for your heart. Brown rice also contains B-complex vitamins, niacin and magnesiums.
  • Blueberries – Nutritionists suggest eating a serving of berries every day. For cardiovascular benefits, snack on blueberries, which include beta-carotene, anthocyanin, vitamin C, folate, calcium and potassium.
  • Sweet Potato – Because of the beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, sweet potatoes provide heart-healthy benefits. You can eat them as a side dish or stuff a sweet potato for a delicious entree!
  • Dark Chocolate – Have a sweet tooth? A square of dark chocolate, which is 70 percent or more cocoa, contains resveratrol and lowers blood pressure.
  • Beans – Just ½ cup of cooked beans daily lowers cholesterol because they contain heart-protective chemicals such as flavonoids.

Contact your physician for more information on keeping your heart healthy.