Can You Eat Healthy On The Bodega Diet?

It’s 4 a.m. in New York City. The bar is closed, you’re at the bodega, and you’re about to make a meal choice that you’ll regret in the morning. Or maybe not, says one woman who thinks we can ignore the siren’s call of the bacon-egg-and-cheese-on-a-roll and reach for something healthier at the corner store.

Upper East Side nutritionist Janine Whiteson says you can transform the food from those bodega shelves into something healthier than a Saltines and ham sandwich.

“If you shop right, you will eat right,” said Whiteson, author of Cooking Light: What to Eat, tells the New York Daily News. “You just need to know how to choose.”

So, for example instead of one shopper’s predilection toward Drake’s coffee cakes and Utz Puff’n Corn – “artery-clogging fat” – go for Sun Chips, or Bumble Bee tuna with crackers.

And even if your corner store doesn’t stock fresh fruit or veggies, you can still get your nutrition on.

“Frozen is almost as good as fresh. Frozen vegetables are picked at the peak of freshness,” says Whiteson. “For canned fruits, pick ones in their own juices. Not heavy syrup.”

Some healthy eaters are in luck — your bodega could be one of the 1,000 in the city operating under the Healthy Bodegas Initiative, a program that’s trying to encourage shop owners to stock up on fresh produce, low-salt foods and whole-grain bread.

Tuna is tasty and frozen peas are great, but who’s going to pry the bacon from my hand when push comes to shove?

Nutritionist shows how harmful bodega diet can be healthy with better choices [New York Daily News]