Anne Lauterjung gives an introduction to the OSF grocery store tour in the produce aisle at the north Kroger in Ottawa on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. (Olivia Doak)
Reading labels, avoiding artificial sweeteners and focusing on eating whole foods are just a few of the tips shared by dietitians from OSF healthcare during a grocery store tour at Ottawa’s north Kroger on Sunday.
The tour focused on teaching consumers how to choose healthier foods at the grocery store while being on a budget. The adjustments that can make the biggest impact are often as simple as switching to a different type of bread or cereal.
Anne Lauterjung, a dietitian and a certified diabetes education specialist for OSF, led the tour. It was geared towards providing information to consumers on how to make healthier choices.
“It is a daunting task, I mean there’s 14 aisles of things to choose from,” Lauterjung said. “But being an informed, educated consumer will help you make better food choices.”
Anne Lauterjung reads aloud a soft drink label during the OSF grocery store tour at the north Kroger in Ottawa on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. (Olivia Doak)
The key to making healthier choices in almost every scenario is reading the label of a food before buying it. Oftentimes foods will have higher amounts of sodium, carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, added sugar or salt than consumers may realize. The solution is then to find alternatives that have less of those additions and are higher in fiber or whole grains.
The tour was scheduled for Sunday in honor of November being Diabetes Awareness Month and Monday being World Diabetes Awareness Day. However, Lauterjung said making good food choices is essential for a healthy lifestyle and something everyone should be doing, whether an individual has diabetes or not.
“One thing everyone can do is move more and eat better.” Lauterjung said. “In this day and age, (it’s asking) how we can eat healthy and keep a mindful budget.”
Lauterjung went aisle by aisle Sunday talking about different foods, reading the label with the tour group and then identifying better, yet still affordable, alternatives. Her biggest advice for managing diabetes is to eat better, increase activity levels and manage blood sugar by taking any medications an individual may have.
Anne Lauterjung goes over a handout of nutritional information with shoppers during the OSF grocery store tour at the north Kroger in Ottawa on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. (Olivia Doak)
Even if someone doesn’t have diabetes, Lauterjung said the main goal should be maintaining a healthy lifestyle so medications aren’t necessary in the future. The biggest complaint she gets from patients is about taking multiple medications, so avoiding the need for them is the best option.
Lauterjung also recommends making a plan before going to the store. Have at least three to four big meals planned, make a list and take inventory. Consider what foods are on sale that week, stick to the list and avoid bringing children or spouses when shopping.
OSF is planning to host more grocery tours in Ottawa and Streator in the spring for those interested in attending a future tour. For individualized help with managing diabetes, contact a medical provider or call Lauterjung at 815-431-3263. For general information, go to
Copyright © 2022 Shaw Local News Network
Copyright © 2022 Shaw Local News Network


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