It’s always challenging to make a food decision. Just ask me… and I’m a dietitian! I tend to ask myself certain questions before choosing a particular food.

When I am teaching my diabetes and nutrition classes, I encourage people to begin by “thinking before they eat.” If there is thought involved then you’re ahead in the healthy eating “game” and if you have additional knowledge, that certainly helps you make a better choice.

These are the questions I ponder in deciding whether I should eat either “this or that” when it comes to healthy eating:

  • “How many calories does this or that have?”
  • “Which is lower in carbohydrates, either this or that?”
  • “Which is lower in sodium, either this or that?”
  • “Which has more unsaturated fat (especially mono-unsaturated fat) and less saturated and trans fats, either this or that?”
  • “Which is lower in sugar, either this or that?”
  • “Which is higher in fiber, either this or that?”
  • “Which has whole wheat vs. wheat, either this or that?”
  • “Which has healthier ingredients, either this or that?”
  • “Which have fewer ingredients listed, either this or that?”

After several hours of contemplation (only kidding)… I make a choice.

Here’s some help for you…

Either This or That

Large Bagel Large Tortilla Wrap – A large bagel has 60 grams of carbs and 320 calories. Many tortilla wrap brands have 15-20 grams of carbs and only 100 calories or less. PLUS, they have lots of fiber and taste! (Read the labels, as there are still some types of wraps that are high in carbs and calories)
English Muffin Whole Wheat English Muffin – Whole wheat contains the fiber that has been shown to reduce heart disease.
Sugar Free Jell-O® Sugar Free Pudding – Pudding has milk, which is a carbohydrate.
Both Sugar Free Jell-O and Sugar Free Pudding are fine. However, if you are having another carb (such as fruit), pair it with a non-carbohydrate choice like Sugar Free Jell-O and light whipped cream.
Light Peanut Butter Natural Peanut Butter – Just look at the ingredients – there is more sugar in light peanut butter. Natural peanut butter contains only peanuts and perhaps salt, without any added trans fat or sugar. The fat in natural peanut butter is primarily unsaturated.
Yogurt (plain and fat free) Greek Yogurt (both plain and fat free) – Greek yogurt is creamier, lower in calories and carbs and higher in protein. Some of the lactose (milk sugar) is strained out of the yogurt.

When in doubt, shop by comparing 2 or 3 foods that are similar while looking at the calories, saturated fat, unsaturated fat, sodium, total carbohydrate, sugar and ingredient list.

You’ll feel great making food choices that are good for you.

Marci Sloane

Marci Sloane, MS, RD, LD/N, CDE, is a registered and licensed dietitian/nutritionist and certified diabetes educator. She grew up in NYC where she graduated with a degree in Nutrition and Physiology from Teachers College at Columbia University.

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