5 Ways to Grocery Shop for More Nutritious Foods
When most people think about eating more healthy and nutritious foods, they think specifically about the foods that they place in their mouth. While this makes obvious sense, the reality is that choosing foods that are better for your health and wellness doesn’t begin when you sit down at the dinner table to eat. It doesn’t even begin when you are cooking or preparing your meals and snacks. No, eating good-for-you foods actually begins much earlier, like when you are grocery shopping for the foods that you are going to bring into your home. This makes learning to shop in a very specific way important to meeting your health and food-related goals. What can you do to help your supermarket trips get you closer to living the life you want to live in order to experience the best health possible? Here are five options to consider:
#1 – Shop the Outside of the Store Oftentimes, the healthiest foods are contained in the perimeter of the store. After all, this is where you are likely to find all of the vitamin enriched fruits and veggies, the protein-filled lean meat, and low-fat dairy. So, by shopping almost primarily in these outer aisles, you can fill your cart with foods that are better for you. On the converse, this suggestion also implies that the shelves on the inside of the store should be accessed with caution. This is where you will find a majority of the processed foods, most of which aren’t as healthy as foods in their natural state.
#2 – Read Labels Just because a food says that it is good for you or contains wording that implies that it is healthy doesn’t mean that it is. And while fat content is important when it comes to weight loss and management, there are other ingredients that you’ll want to watch out for as well. For instance, sodium can cause water retention and higher blood pressure, and artificial sweeteners can trigger hard to fight cravings. Therefore, reading the labels of the foods you want to buy is important to achieving higher levels of health. Pay special attention to the ingredients they contain and decide on your own whether or not the food is good for you. If it isn’t put it back on the shelf and keep on shopping.
#3 – Pay Attention to Serving Sizes Part of what makes the SlimPlate System so successful is a focus on monitoring portion sizes. After all, you can eat all of the “right” foods, but if you eat too much of them, you are still taking in more calories than you need, which means that you’re likely to gain weight. However, by paying attention to the serving sizes on some of your favorite foods, you can better decide whether or not it is worth buying. If it is, put it in your cart and enjoy it in its proper portion. If it isn’t then maybe you can find something else just as tasty that allows you to eat a little bit more.
#4 – Think Nutrition, Not Convenience This one is difficult, especially in this day and age. With all of the running associated with raising a family, keeping up a house, and being engaged in a lucrative career, preparing and cooking food may be the last thing on your to-do list. The problem with this way of thinking is that this can cause you to buy a lot of foods based on convenience versus nutrition. For instance, a number of foods that are available in the deli section or frozen food aisles are loaded with fat, salt, or sugar—three ingredients that can harm your weight loss efforts. By getting your brain to remember that being healthy often requires a little bit of effort though, you’ll be more likely to choose more nutritious foods even though they may require some preparation.
#5 – Eat Before You Shop One final piece of advice when it comes to grocery shopping for more nutritious foods is to eat before you go as walking into a store loaded with not-very-good-for-you foods when you’re starving is just asking for trouble. In this instance, you’ll be more inclined to put hard to resist items in your cart, which means that you’ll also be bringing them into your home. Instead, eat a meal or light snack before you even step foot into a supermarket. This will not only potentially save you from making a poor buying decision, but it will probably also save you money too. That makes this last suggestion a true win-win.
What things do you do to help you buy more nutritious foods while shopping? Please share them below!