UPDATE: When you go shopping for food, do you shop from a list you made up from a carefully planned menu, read package labels and try to select the most nutritious foods? Or do you dash madly along, tossing whatever looks tastiest into your cart?

According to an article in the August 1990 Runner's World by Dr. Liz Applegate, most supermarkets stock more than 10,000 items to tempt you. Many are both flavorful and healthful, but others contain too much fat, sugar or sodium. She then lists some excellent tips to help you choose healthful foods from every section of the store. These suggestions are so good, I would like to summarize them for you in my column.The Warmup. Applegate offers the following three suggestions for before you to the store:

1. Shop on a full stomach, or at least eat a snack before going to the store. If you're hungry, you're more likely to load up with junk food.

2. Make a list and stick to it. You'll finish your shopping sooner and get only what you need. You can allow some flexibility to accommodate last-minute specials or hard-to-resist fresh produce.

3. Before you shop, master the "Nine Rule" to determine the fat content of foods. Since every gram of fat packs 9 calories, multiply the number of grams of fat per serving by 9 and divide this number by the total calories per serving. Try to buy things that are les than 30 percent fat.

Fresh start. In the produce section select plenty of fruits and vegetables. Remember to "take five" - five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

4. Choose dark lettuces, carrots, tomatoes, bean sprouts, green onions and radishes, all of which are rich in beta-carotene.

5. Select at least three cruciferous vegetables a week (broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts).

6. Try different in-season fruits each week for variety and added nutrition.

7. Select citrus fruits and berries, green peppers, tomatoes and potatoes to help meet your vitamin C requirements.

8. Grab a sack of potatoes. They make great microwave meals topped with steamed vegetables and low-fat cheese, and you can refrigerate extra baked potatoes for quick high-carbohydrate snacks. I'll continue these hints next week.


Exercise: Increase your aerobic exercise to about 20 minutes a day. Begin doing 15 abdominal curls.

Diet: Barbara Higa, our consultant dietician suggests that you stop drinking soda pop this week. Not only does pop provide too much sugar in your diet, it can decrease bone calcium levels and affect chromium, which has to do with the regulation of blood sugar. Even artificially sweetened drinks can have negative effects. She suggests that you increase the amount of water you drink and switch to the fruit-juice-sweetened mineral water drinks such as Sundance or Crystal Geysers as a replacement for regular pop.