CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Any time you shop at the grocery store, it's important to shop the perimeter first, according to Registered Saint Francis Dietician Emily Funcik.
Funcik spends plenty of time in the grocery store teaching her patients how to be healthy by the food choices they make.
"In our culture, we eat more processed food and things that come from a package or bag," Funcik said.
Funcik says while shopping the perimeter, load up on fresh produce that is in season. It's also good to use options like onion and garlic that can add flavor to your food instead of so much salt.
Funcik says salt can be found in many frozen entrees as well as some cereals. When it comes to butter, cheese and milk, Funcik says always stick to the lower fat options.
"Dairy or animal products can be a major source of saturated fat, so we want to go as low as possible, "Funcik said.
A daily maximum of sodium should be 2300 milligrams or a teaspoon of salt, and when it comes to sugar, look for items with less than 10 grams.
One of the biggest things when shopping for food is reading and understanding the nutrition labels starting with serving size and calories.
Funcik says it's important to look for very little to no trans fat or saturated or fat, sugar and plenty of fiber.
"Taking small steps and slowly lowering salt intake and slowly lowering your fat intake, that's what makes these things sustainable over the long run," Funcik said.