Dietitians decipher labels on supermarket tour

Dietician Crystal Cates shows the group what to look for in a food label.

PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. (WPDE) - Study after study shows healthy eating coupled with exercise leads to a longer life. The combination helps keep diseases like diabetes at bay, but picking the best food for your body at the grocery store may not come easy for some.

Dietitians with Georgetown Hospital System are eliminating the guess work and making the decision easier. Twice a month, they offer a supermarket tour for employees and anyone else who signs up.

For about an hour Thursday afternoon, a group of 14 adults went back to school in the aisles of a grocery store. Dietitian Crystal Cates pointed out her favorites like almond butter. It's just like peanut butter, only it's made out of almonds. Not only does Cates love the flavor, it's also a healthy choice. "The mono is 10. So the best fat is mono and that's what this is. So canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil those are the best for us."

Laura Myers and her husband were among the group. Making healthier food choices is at the top of her list. "Weight and blood pressure. And just to be healthy," she explained.

Cates pulled out items and let the group know not to be fooled by labels and refer to the ingredient list instead.

"I learned a lot. When I look at the canned goods and everything, I don't know what I'm reading, but they helped me look for trans fats and things that I never thought about," adds Myers.

"What we want is more fiber and less sugar because then we'll have a filling cereal," says Cates.

Lean meats are also the better option along with fruits and vegetables. Cates also gave everyone a handout with tips like making a list, shopping with the season, and shop the perimeter of the store.

"I'm going to avoid a lot of the things that I bought before so I will be introducing a lot more different items to my shelves at home, because what I usually buy I've found it's not healthy," says Meyers. "It's a habit that you have to work at. At least for me so I'm trying to change bad habits to good habits."

If you'd like to sign up for a supermarket tour, call 843-520-8288.