Staying healthy is a priority – especially during a pandemic – and proper nutrition is key to good health. So, what exactly should you be eating?
Dale’s Natural Foods is a health food store that has been serving Genesee County residents since 1947. “A big part of staying healthy is eating healthy,” says Drew Wolfe, Owner of the store that provides organic groceries and produce, as well as a vegetarian deli and juice bar. “We promote healthy eating – it’s what we do. We try to make it as easy as possible to get good, real food.”
It all started in 1947 with Wolfe’s grandfather, Dale. After World War II, refined white sugar and flour were widely used to make many foods. “His deal was that real, whole foods are what our bodies need to function properly,” Wolfe explains. And the family has continued that belief through three generations. The store originally sold whole grain breads and wheat germ oil and has continued to grow and add to its offerings over the years.
“Some organic products are more costly but bulk whole grains, legumes and others are very affordable. It doesn’t take a lot of money to eat well.”
Drew Wolfe, Owner, Dale’s Natural Foods
Wolfe believes that eating three square meals a day is important. Skipping meals is not a good thing, the natural food store owner believes. “Our bodies need fuel for energy and to fend off illness.”
You can find an abundance of natural and organic meats and produce at Dale’s. Organic products are said to have a higher nutritional value and are grown without the use of pesticides. “Some people think it is hard to eat healthy,” Wolfe says. “We strive to make it easier.”
Is it expensive to purchase organic food? “Yes and no,” Drew admits. “Some organic products are more costly but bulk whole grains, legumes and others are very affordable,” he adds. “It doesn’t take a lot of money to eat well.”
Another way that Dale’s Natural Foods promotes healthy eating is at their vegetarian deli and juice bar. The deli offers two house-made soups daily and healthy, vegetarian hot entrees. “We offer ten different, beautiful salads daily. If you look at our salad case, you’ll see every color of the rainbow. All of the colors are different antioxidants that nourish our bodies.”
8 Tips for Healthy Eating
- Make half your meal plate fruits and vegetables.
Eating colorful fruits and vegetables is important because they provide vitamins and minerals and most are low in calories.
- Focus on fruits.
Choose whole fruits – fresh, frozen, dried, or canned in 100% juice. Enjoy fruit with meals, as snacks or as a dessert.
- Vary your veggies.
Try adding fresh, frozen or canned vegetables to salads, sides and main dishes. Choose a variety of colorful vegetables prepared in healthful ways: steamed, sautéed, roasted or raw.
- Make half your grains whole grains.
Look for whole grains listed first or second on the ingredients list – try oatmeal, popcorn, whole-grain bread and brown rice. Limit grain-based desserts and snacks, such as cakes, cookies and pastries.
- Move to low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt.
Choose low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and soy beverages (soymilk) to cut back on saturated fat. Replace sour cream, cream and regular cheese with low-fat yogurt, milk and cheese.
- Vary your protein routine.
Mix up your protein foods to include seafood, beans and peas, unsalted nuts and seeds, soy products, eggs, and lean meats and poultry. Try main dishes made with beans or seafood like tuna salad or bean chili.
- Drink and eat beverages and food with less sodium, saturated fat and added sugars.
Use the Nutrition Facts label and ingredients list to limit these items. Choose vegetable oils instead of butter, and oil-based sauces and dips instead of ones with butter, cream or cheese.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
Water is calorie-free. Non-diet soda, energy or sports drinks, and other sugar-sweetened drinks contain a lot of calories from added sugars and have few nutrients.