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Most of us spend close to two hours a week at the supermarket: That's 120 minutes trying to decide between this can of soup or that one, 17 kinds of frozen pizza (even buying dog food has gotten complicated -- but we won't get into that here). Our focus: What to buy out of a box, bag, or bottle that is delicious and healthy. To qualify for taste testing, brands had to be low in fat, added sugars, and sodium, and high in protein and fiber. Use this guide to go aisle by aisle like a pro.
Six of the best nutritionists in the country, all FITNESS advisory board members, created healthy criteria for every category: the ideal number of calories and grams of fat for each food; low sodium content in deli meats; high fiber content in breads, cereals, pastas; and so on. In each category, the top three to five brands that met our stringent standards were taste-tested by dozens of staffers from our company. (Only nationally available products qualified.)Take a look at our 100 healthy grocery store picks
Additional reporting by Anar Allidina, Sarah D'Angelo, and Stella Katsipoutis.
FITNESS nutrition experts: Kathy McManus, RD, director, department of nutrition, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston; Lisa Young, PhD, RD, author of The Portion Teller Plan and adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University; Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association in Chicago; Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, director of sports nutrition at the Center for Sports Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Ashley Koff, RD, nutrition counselor and consultant; Elizabeth Burt, RD, FITNESS healthy-test-kitchen guru.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, June 2008.