When you go to the grocery, you are faced with a lot of options and often you end up buying stuff you didn’t intend to buy at all. Sadly, most of these “unintentional stuff” are foods you don’t really need and want if your goal is to stay healthy. When you go to the grocery, you should have a list ready of what you will need for the week. It would even be better to write down your meal plan so you can buy the right amount of ingredients. This way, you will not run out of food mid-week and start snacking more and eating out.
Healthy Shopping Tips
- Focus on the perimeter. Fruits and vegetables, eggs, grains, dairy products, lean cuts of meat and bread are displayed around the perimeter of the store. This is where you should focus your grocery list. You can buy frozen fruits but your cart should contain more fresh produce, proteins and whole grains as these foods contain the vitamins, minerals and fiber that you need. These foods should consist 90% of your diet.
- Avoid the middle aisles. The middle aisles contain the processed and packaged foods such as cookies, breads, sweets, processed and canned goods. Buying these items will get you off-track to eating healthy.
- Read the labels, especially the ingredient listing. You don’t need a degree or knowledge in chemistry, if you find long and unfamiliar words, that should tell you to be on the alert and avoid these foods. These chemicals in the food may be harmful and which you shouldn’t be eating at all. Stick to simple ingredients that you know and understand such as oats, chicken and peas.
- Choose a healthy cooking oil. When buying oil, make a quick review of what are in the shelves. Check the sources and determine if they belong to healthy sources. Vegetable oils, such as Argan oil, olive oil and canola oil, are liquid at room temperatures and are rich in unsaturated fats called the “good fats” which are good for the heart. These types of oil are great for healthy cooking such as grilling, pan-frying and sautéing.
- Give trans fat a direct cut. Trans fat are the “baddest” among the bad fats and should be avoided at all cost. Trans fats contain saturated fats that are bad for the health and may increase your risk for heart diseases. Trans fats are found in margarines, butter and commercially prepared baked goods that list shortening or hydrogenated oils in their labels.
- Never shop on an empty stomach. When you are hungry, you are more likely to crave and reach for junk foods. Do not go to the grocery when you are hungry.
- Stick to your list. Do not be influenced by the nice displays featuring packaged and processed foods strategically placed around the supermarkets geared towards attracting the consumer’s attention. When you go to the grocery store with your list in hand, remain faithful to that list no matter what else you may see around.
Eating healthy should not be difficult. Simple tips such as correct grocery shopping and choosing healthy foods will help you obtain the good health you want starting today.