There’s no shortage of seemingly healthy food choices at the grocery store. But which ones really deliver the goodness we need at the right cost and convenience? We sought advice from registered dietitian Sue Mah—and we also asked her to open up her refrigerator.
A daunting task
Like most Canadian women, the 41-year-old faces meal-planning challenges: She runs her own business, Nutrition Solutions, out of her Toronto home, and time is scarce. On top of that, her seven-year-old son and five-year-old daughter can be picky eaters, and her husband is lactose intolerant. The logistics involved to satisfy everyone are daunting. For example, she stocks the fridge with 2% and chocolate milk for the children, plus a fat-free fortified soy beverage for herself, and a vanilla-flavoured fortified soydrink for her husband.
Then there are the other factors Mah takes into account when shopping. She spends at least an hour at the grocery store, and tries to select seasonal and local produce as well as foods with enhanced nutritional characteristics—such as omega-3- and lutein-fortified eggs. “It’s really not that much more expensive, and you get more bang for your buck,” she says.
The real deal on a good meal
While Mah’s fridge has the hallmarks of a family with a healthy diet, she believes there’s more to a good meal than tabulating nutrients and calories. (She comes by that philosophy honestly: Her father is a chef.) “I’m a real food lover.”