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Healthy Foods Harder to Find in Poor Neighborhoods
Date:3/6/2009

weekends when produce shelves are freshly stocked. This way you get the best of what's available before the weekend rush hits.
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables are a good substitute for fresh, and they keep longer. They're also less expensive most of the time, Sandon said.
  • Canned fruits and vegetables are also a good substitute when fresh is not an option. For fruit, look for those that are packed in their own juices or water. If only heavy syrup is available, be sure to drain and rinse before eating to cut out added sugar. Look for low-sodium options in the canned vegetables aisle. If they're not available, be sure to drain and rinse the veggies before eating.
  • Canned beans "count" as a vegetable and are a good source of protein, fiber, folate and other important vitamins and minerals, Sandon noted. They're versatile too, working great in soups, stews and salads.
  • When shopping for meat, look for the leanest cuts available. Trim any visible fat or remove the skin to lower the saturated fat of lower-cost fatty cuts.
  • Go for dried spices as some stores may not carry fresh. Dried spices are still good sources of antioxidants, Sandon said.
  • It may be hard to find skim milk in some smaller stores but most at least carry 2 percent milk in addition to whole milk. Go for the 2 percent. This at least cuts out three grams of saturated fat per cup, according to Sandon.
  • For cereal, pick oatmeal over ready-to-eat cereals with added sugar. A serving of oatmeal counts as a whole grain and is a staple food carried by most grocery stores.


  • SOURCES: Manuel Franco, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, and assistant professor, National Center for Cardiovascular Research, Madrid, Spain; Shannon N. Zenk, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., assistant professor, University of Illinois at Chicago; Lona Sandon, RD, assi
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