Panama City - As your bank account can tell you, it's costing us more to eat. Consumer price index statistics show the cost of food is up more than 5% from a year ago. Fuel prices have a lot to with it. NewsChannel 7's Meredith TerHaar met Dr. Tali Cluxton, a chiropractor who specializes in nutrition, at the Grocery Outlet in Panama City to learn how to get the best nutritional bang for your buck.
Dr. Cluxton does a lot of her shopping at Grocery Outlet. She's looking for the most nutritional benefit for the dollar. "I've noticed a marked difference on a lot of items," said Dr. Cluxton. She says heading straight for the produce section is a good way to start. "One of the most nutrient dense foods you can get on the market is kale. We've got a bag right here. It can be put in salads or sautéed with lemon and butter."
When it comes to fruit, look out for those high in sugar. "Citrus is always good and also apples, they are not as high on the glycemic index as something like grapes. People don't realize how much sugar they are getting in grapes." Also, look for what is in season, those fruits and veggies are most likely to be on sale.
Think lowfat peanut butter is healthier? Think again. "The fat that they take out of the peanut butter is the good fat from the peanut and what is left are the calories and the sugar," said Dr. Cluxton.
What about red meat? Dr. Cluxton says it gets a bad rap. "It's high in protein and it is high in iron and other trace minerals. The only thing is, it does slow the digestion more than chicken or fish so you want to eat in moderation. The American staple is chicken. People are probably eating it a whole lot more than they need to, if you can vary it with some of the other meats that is actually more healthy," said Dr. Cluxton.
She recommends families spend most of their grocery budget on produce and lean protein. "It's a really good idea to shop the perimeter of the store first because on the periphery are all the non-processed food so you are going to get more of your whole foods first, then head to the middle of the store for condiments and other things you might need," said Dr. Cluxton.
Don't forget about the local farmers markets as well, reminds Dr. Cluxton, she say they are an excellent source for locally grown produce.