Martha Stewart's "Living the Good Long Life" is a best-selling guide to aging with grace and good health -- and practicing smart eating habits is a major part of that. Fill your kitchen with healthful ingredients, and youâ€™ll be much more prepared to put together a nutritious meal any time.
While Martha may not be able to do your grocery shopping for you, she's happy to offer wisdom to help guide you through the aisles. The following tips will help you determine what to keep on hand and what to look for on food labels.
Look for the words â€ś100-percent whole grainâ€ť on the label for whole-wheat pasta, and 3 or more grams of fiber per serving. For rice, choose whole-grain varieties such as brown, wild, red, or brown basmati; these are higher in fiber and nutrients than their more-processed white cousins.
Look for opportunities to use sea salt, which is more flavorful than table salt, so youâ€™ll need less of it and still get great flavor. Limit your intake to 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. Use spices to add flavor without adding calories. Spices also increase satiety, so youâ€™ll be less likely to overeat.
Look for the shortest list of ingredients and least amount of added sugar and sodium. All kinds of canned tomatoes -â€“ diced, or in a sauce or paste -â€“ will be good sources of the potent antioxidant lycopene, but tomato paste will have the highest levels because itâ€™s the most concentrated.
Look for low-sodium varieties, since canned beans can be high in salt. As a general rule, more color means more nutrients, so red kidney, pinto, and black beans are extra-rich in a variety of antioxidants. But all beans are wonderful (and inexpensive) sources of protein and fiber.