Pick up know-how for tackling diseases, pests and weeds.
Farm bill, farm marketing, agribusiness webinars, & farm policy.
Find tactics for healthy livestock and sound forages.
Scheduling and methods of irrigation.
Explore our Extension locations around the state.
Commercial row crop production in Arkansas.
Agriculture weed management resources.
Use virtual and real tools to improve critical calculations for farms and ranches.
Learn to ID forages and more.
Explore our research locations around the state.
Get the latest research results from our county agents.
Our programs include aquaculture, diagnostics, and energy conservation.
Keep our food, fiber and fuel supplies safe from disaster.
Private, Commercial & Non-commercial training and education.
Specialty crops including turfgrass, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals.
Find educational resources and get youth engaged in agriculture.
Gaining garden smarts and sharing skills.
Timely tips for the Arkansas home gardener.
Creating beauty in and around the home.
Maintenance calendar, and best practices.
Coaxing the best produce from asparagus to zucchini.
What’s wrong with my plants? The clinic can help.
Featured trees, vines, shrubs and flowers.
Ask our experts plant, animal, or insect questions.
Enjoying the sweet fruits of your labor.
Herbs, native plants, & reference desk QA.
Growing together from youth to maturity.
Crapemyrtles, hydrangeas, hort glossary, and weed ID databases.
Get beekeeping, honey production, and class information.
Grow a pollinator-friendly garden.
Schedule these timely events on your gardening calendar.
Equipping individuals to lead organizations, communities, and regions.
Home to the Center for Rural Resilience and Workforce Development.
Guiding entrepreneurs from concept to profit.
Position your business to compete for government contracts.
Find trends, opportunities and impacts.
Providing unbiased information to enable educated votes on critical issues.
Increase your knowledge of public issues & get involved.
Research-based connection to government and policy issues.
Support Arkansas local food initiatives.
Read about our efforts.
Preparing for and recovering from disasters.
Licensing for forestry and wildlife professionals.
Preserving water quality and quantity.
Cleaner air for healthier living.
Firewood & bioenergy resources.
Managing a complex forest ecosystem.
Read about nature across Arkansas and the U.S.
Learn to manage wildlife on your land.
Soil quality and its use here in Arkansas.
Learn to ID unwanted plant and animal visitors.
Timely updates from our specialists.
Eating right and staying healthy.
Ensuring safe meals.
Take charge of your well-being.
Cooking with Arkansas foods.
Making the most of your money.
Making sound choices for families and ourselves.
Nurturing our future.
Get tips for food, fitness, finance, and more!
Understanding aging and its effects.
Giving back to the community.
Managing safely when disaster strikes.
Listen to our latest episode!
TEXARKANA, Ark. –
There are some individuals who are able to provide for their families due to living
off the land. They plant and grow their own fruits and vegetables, raise free-range
chickens, and supply their cattle herd with all of the fresh green grass their tummies
can handle. For many of us, that just doesn’t work so we have to rely on grocery stores
and farmer’s markets for our foods to provide nourishment.
So, as we navigate the aisles at grocery stores, learn how to make wise decisions
on the best, most nutritious foods we can feed ourselves and our families. It’s becoming
more of a challenge, especially since so many things now come in a box, bag, bottle
or carton. Become a detective and navigate the myriad of products by using information
wisely. Chances are if it comes from the center of the store it likely will be packaged
in a bag, box, carton, or bottle. Use these tips to navigate it wisely and make the
best choices for your health.
Don’t be misled by health claims on the packaging. What makes it 100 percent whole
grain, heart healthy, etc. Investigate the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredient list.
If there are more than five ingredients in the food, determine whether you know what
the ingredients are, whether you can see them in the food, and whether you can pronounce
their names. If you can’t pronounce their name, it might be a reason to leave it on
the shelf. Are the first ingredients high-quality ingredients, derived from whole
grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, or seeds? For example, the first ingredient in whole
wheat bread should be whole wheat. Anything else and it might not be 100 percent whole
wheat bread but brown because of flavoring or color that has been added.
Investigate the serving size. This will determine how much of each nutrient you’ll
be getting in one serving. Remember, if you eat 2 or 3 servings of a food, you have
to double or triple the amounts of fat, calories, etc.! A can of soup may have up
to 4 servings per can, so investigate the serving size.
We all know that saturated fat is something we need to be limiting and watching in
our diet. On the nutrition facts label, take a look at the saturated fat content.
If there are more than 3 grams per serving, you probably should skip that food.
Put your detective skills to work when it comes to sugar. There are tons of forms
of the sweet stuff: cane sugar, Florida crystals, honey, molasses, turbinado sugar,
brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. These all act in the same way once they
get into your system. Too much of any added sugars can cause weight gain and tax your
pancreas by forcing it to secrete more insulin in order get the sugar into your cells.
Remember, sugar has 15 calories in a teaspoon (4 grams). If a product contains 20
grams of sugar, it offers 5 teaspoons per serving! If you don’t think that is a lot,
just measure out 5 teaspoons and see for yourself. Sometimes seeing is believing.
Scour the nutrition facts label to see how much fiber is in a single serving of food.
If there are 3 grams of fiber in a single serving of a food, your detective skills
are on target. If there are 5 grams or more in a serving, that food is considered
an “excellent” source of fiber. If there are less than 3 grams of fiber per serving,
you need to search more for a high fiber food. Fiber should come from plant foods.
Think whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
Although we sometimes feel like we have to be a detective to find the healthiest foods
for our families, if you will just do a little detective work reading food labels
you will be able to spot the healthy foods.
For your free copy of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which offers tips for
healthy eating, contact me at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
in Miller County at 870-779-3609, e-mail Cdue@uada.edu or visit us in the Miller County
Courthouse. You may also follow me on facebook at www.facebook.com/MillerCountyFCS, or visit our website at www.uaex.uada.edu/miller .
By Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.