Grocery shopping can be complicated when you are trying to make healthier choices or to lose weight. With the diverse amount of available products on store shelves nowadays, smart, healthy choices seem confusing and burdensome. Follow these few, simple tips for a healthier cart at checkout!
- Never shop when you are hungry: Grocery shopping when you are hungry may cause you to buy more than you may need and also to buy unhealthier items. Your famished brain may see a bag of potato chips or cookies and get excited enough to stimulate your taste buds, eventually causing a mouth-watering sensation which leaves you more likely to purchase it. Always head to the grocery store with a satiated stomach so your appetite does not trick you and your wallet!
- Plan ahead—make a list: Writing out a grocery list before you go to the story will help you plan to buy healthier options and keep you from overspending. Break your list into categories and organize it in a way you will find most appealing.
- Plan out meals for the week: Planning meals is a practical way to eat healthier, eat less, and spend less. If you plan daily meals it will keep you from over-eating and extra snacking. It also is always a fun way to incorporate or try out new recipes as well! Plan meals out for you and your family to ensure you include healthy recipes and ingredients to purchase when you are grocery shopping.
- Look for organic products if possible: GMOs, GEs and “processed” foods are everywhere. Unfortunately, buying organic products and produce will increase your total amount spent, but on the bright side, it will increase your health and longevity. Purchasing certified organic products is a great way to stay away from harmful, nasty antibiotics and pesticides that can affect your short and long term health. Look for organic produce and other products at the grocery store as healthier alternatives to packaged, refined food!
- Be sure to include all food groups in your cart: Fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein, oh my! Be sure to have healthy options of these five groups in your cart each time you visit the grocery store. Making sure you include all of the food groups by checkout will provide for healthier cooking and eating throughout the week. Also, check to make sure with all the food groups in your cart you have a variety of colors as well! Eat the rainbow!
- Read labels: Reading labels is a great way to recognize healthy and harmful ingredients you may not know you are eating. Always, always, always read ingredient lists before you simply throw the item in your cart! Before you go to the store, remind yourself of ingredients to avoid or write them on a separate list and take it with you! Avoiding the numerous synthetic ingredients out there will result in a healthier you. Keep in mind it is best to focus on buying foods that do not have a nutrition facts label!
- Be adventurous—Try a new fruit or vegetable: Trying new fruits and vegetables can be fun! Adding a fruit or vegetable you have never tried is a good way to establish healthy shopping. You never know what you may end up loving or hating. Incorporating new, exciting colors and flavors into meals will provide healthier lives for you and your family! You never know until you try!
- Shop the perimeter of the store first: The center aisles of the grocery store are where most processed and junk food items are found. Shopping the perimeter will lead you to the sections with fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat and fish first! By the time you make your way around the perimeter your cart might be too full to even shop the center aisles! Fill your cart with healthy perimeter items first so you won’t spend as much time or money in the junk aisles!
- Avoid foods with more than five ingredients: Avoiding foods with a long ingredient list will leave you less likely to contaminate your body with harmful, processed substances. Make sure the product has ingredients you can pronounce as well as a minimal number.
Keep these grocery shopping tips in mind while you shop. Eating healthy is easier when you buy healthy products at the grocery store. Make grocery shopping fun for you and your family. There are countless healthy products available today that you can make new recipes and experiment with!