Health & Wellness: Stay fit by shopping smart

Do you think that the paths you choose to take through your grocery store and fiber have anything in common?

As a matter of fact, they do.

The path you choose to take through your grocery store and the amount of fiber you consume can impact your weight.

You might be thinking what a stupid statement to make. Traffic patterns and certain studies might prove otherwise.

Let's talk for a minute about the layout of your grocery store. Grocery store layouts are designed to lead you to shop in certain "traffic" patterns. Displays are set up strategically to attract you to shop down specific aisles. However, almost all groceries arrange their fresh produce, meats, seafood, eggs, and dairy around the perimeter of their stores. This is because these areas offer the necessary plumbing and electrical units for proper storage.

We need to be aware that displays are placed to draw us down aisles that may be stocked with unnecessary items such as treats, snacks, and high calorie convenience foods. Stores also place items that net them high profit margins at eye level because shoppers tend to buy what they see first. Grocers also advertise inexpensive foods in hopes to bring in more impulsive buyers.

What does fiber have to do with grocery shopping? Not much! But, research shows that fiber can help control weight. Studies show that people on a high fiber diet are half as likely to become obese. Research also shows that an extra 12 grams of fiber daily, prevents an average weight gain of 8 pounds over several years.

Fiber helps us feel full and satisfied, which can help prevent overeating. Fiber also helps us cut down on calories from food we consume.

Another study by the USDA showed that fiber can help us lose weight by reducing the number of calories absorbed. Researchers found that women, who double their fiber intake from 12 grams to 24 grams, absorbed 90 calories less from fat and protein daily.

They found that men who doubled their intake from 18 grams to 36 grams of fiber absorbed 130 fewer calories. This effect varies greatly between different people.

The average American consumes about 15 grams of fiber a day. Try to increase your fiber intake to meet the recommended levels by the Food and Nutrition Board:

Adults age 50 and under: Men 38 grams, women 25 grams

Adults age 50 and over: Men 30 grams, women 21 grams

Shopping the perimeter of your grocery store can help with weight loss by preventing us from purchasing high calorie, high fat foods that we really do not need, also saving us money in the long run.

Increasing fiber can aid in weight loss by helping us feel full and can also help prevent the absorption of calories.

Please call me today at (928) 753-5066 or stop by 1848 Hope Ave. in Kingman if you have weight that you want or need to lose.