By Be Well Health Coach Amanda Carney
Chances are, the foods you are choosing at the grocery store are making up a good portion of your diet, which means you should be doing your best to make your shopping experience a successful and healthy one! Use these 5 tips to get the most out of your shopping experience and successfully navigate your grocery store with ease.
1. Plan Ahead
Grocery stores are filled with items packaged and advertised to make you want them, and if you show up without a plan, there is a good chance you will leave with some of these products. To avoid overstocking your cart and choosing unhealthy food options, plan ahead by creating a detailed shopping list based on what you want to eat throughout the week (making a weekly menu can be really helpful). Check out some of our favorite recipes for menu ideas.
2. Choose Real Foods
Leafy greens. Raw nuts and seeds. Organic meats. These are real foods that come directly from nature. There is little to no processing involved, which allows you to reap all the benefits mother nature intended you to receive. When choosing foods to put in your cart, consider how far they have come from nature; could you find them growing in a garden? Or did they likely come from a processing plant?
3. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods often come with packaging and are not found growing in nature. These foods usually contain harmful oils, nasty preservatives and hidden sugars (among other things) that do NOT do your body good. Looking to the ingredient list is a great way to identify – and avoid – processed foods.
4. Read Ingredient Lists
Forget the white box of “nutrition facts” on the back of packaged products and look straight to the ingredient list! This is where you can learn if a food product is wholesome or harmful, helping you to decide if you should include it in your cart or put it back on the shelf. Notice a long list of ingredients with words that are unrecognizable? Put it back! If your grandma wouldn’t recognize the ingredients then you shouldn’t be eating it! Instead, choose products with short ingredient lists that contain all recognizable ingredients.
5. Stay on the Perimeter
The freshest foods (like produce and meats) are kept on the perimeter of the store, leaving all the processed junk in the middle aisles. Avoid temptation all together and stick to the perimeter, only traveling to the inner aisles for specific items.