Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Grocery Shopping for Low Sodium/Restricted Potassium/Restricted Fluid Diet 101

1. Go to the store when you have plenty of time to read labels.
2. Go to the store by yourself, if possible, so you have fewer distractions.
3. Be flexible in what you’re planning because after you read labels you may need to adjust what you’re purchasing.
4. Buy fresh when you can and frozen when you can’t.
5. Take stock of your existing pantry and freezer items before you go so you have a plan.
6. Take a list of what you’re shopping for and stick to it as much as possible.
7. Educate yourself on what foods are naturally high in potassium, such as bananas and cantaloupe.

1. Pick up anything that remotely looks like it would be a snack item. Most snack items are high in sodium.
2. Purchase any canned vegetables or soups if at all possible. These have way too much sodium.
3. Cringe when you see the price of fresh produce. Just resign yourself to the fact that it is more expensive to eat healthy foods. That’s why there are so many overweight low income people. The stuff that’s killing us are the cheapest things to buy.
4. Go to the store hungry. It provides more temptation if you go on an empty stomach.
5. Go for the low fat or low sugar items. They’re typically higher in sodium than the regular stuff.
6. Buy soda. It’s empty liquid (especially if someone is on liquid restriction) and can be high in sodium.
7. Be in a rush. Purchasing quality items takes time.
8. Give in to your spouse whining that he’s going to starve to death if you don’t buy him pretzels or snack crackers.

Shopping just became another chore that I don’t enjoy. I went last night, spent $153 and the only meat I bought was a 1# package hamburger chub, 1# package of hamburger patties, 1# catfish fillets, less than 1# chicken strips for stir-fry, and one tuna pouch. The rest was mostly fresh produce (vegetables and fruit), yogurt, and frozen produce (vegetables and fruit). I also bought three boxes of cereal, some containers to help prolong the life of produce in the fridge, one bottle of salad dressing, one bottle of mayonnaise, one $2 package of trash bags, and $2 in tissues. It’s really not much in the grand scheme of things.

No milk, no eggs, no bread, no pasta, no cleaning products, and no other paper products. I even saved $11.15 in store coupons.

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