Can you pass a nutrition house call?

But Grotto insists that if you do it just once, you won't have to do it again.

"You'll find the foods that work for you, and then you'll know which products are your friends."

I think I can take a few extra minutes just once if it means eating healthy.

Here's what Grotto says you need to know to make sure you get a better grade if he ever comes knockin':

--If you can't pronounce it, you might not want to eat it. Preservatives seem to have a lot of syllables.

--Anything that has a bright color should be checked for dyes. (Cough syrup, vitamins, juices, condiments, salad dressings, even spaghetti sauces are all likely candidates.

--High fructose corn syrup should not be in the top three ingredients. You're better off with actual sugar since it's not processed.

--Berries are the best food you can eat. But make sure any sweet fruits you eat are organically grown. Otherwise, pesticides are used in high doses to keep away the bugs.

--Produce is your friend. A green pepper or a carrot on the go can make a huge difference.

And by all means, don't assume that all organics or healthy foods are hard to find or overly expensive. Wal-marts are even carrying antibiotic-free milk.

"It's what consumers want," says Grotto. "Every store has a healthy section these days. You just might have to look around a little bit before you find it."

jweigel@tribune.com
CHICAGO

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