T. R.

Q:

Why does no one address the diet concerns of an old bachelor, living alone, who doesn't buy lettuce because it will rot before he uses it and who doesn't cook anything with more than five ordinary ingredients?

Patty Bonsignore

A:

I think your question is a good one – and equally relevant to someone who is single and living alone, or people on a budget or people who don’t have a lot of time for food preparation. It is true that fresh vegetables tend to go bad if you can’t use them fast enough. One thing we suggest is to buy frozen vegetables. These can be eaten in small amounts, have just as much (if not more) nutritional value than fresh vegetables and tend to be a little cheaper to buy than fresh. It is best to avoid canned vegetables, as they tend to be high in sodium and sometimes have added sugar. The healthy versions of frozen dinners may be another good option for you, and there are lots of these to choose from. When looking for healthy frozen meals, make sure the nutrition labels indicate that the meal is both low in fat (less than 10 grams for a meal) and low in sodium (less than 480 mg for a meal). And also make sure the carb content is not too high. For men, a general recommendation would be to eat about 60 grams of carbohydrate at dinnertime. You will want to avoid fast food or prepared food at the grocery store, because these dinners tend to be very high in fat, sodium and carbohydrate. If you find you are struggling to find options you enjoy, meeting with a dietitian might be helpful.

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