Healthy Grocery Shopping TipsJune 28, 2019
The first step to meeting your healthy eating goals, is to have healthy food readily available at home. Stocking your fridge and pantry with healthy staples such as vegetables and fruit, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats is important for good menu planning and food preparation. Read below for my tips on Healthy grocery shopping and ways to positively enhance your grocery cart!
1. Make a list and have a plan. Before going to the grocery store, take some time to sift through recipes and decide on the meal plan for the coming week. Then take inventory of what’s on hand in your kitchen, and decide what needs to be purchased. Make a list based on your meal plan for the week and food items required. A grocery list, saves time at the grocery store and avoids overbuying fresh items that may go to waste. Also, nothing is worse than discovering you are missing a key ingredient for a recipe you planned for the week. A list also avoids impulse purchases while keeping budget in check. Your grocery experience will be more efficient, organized, economical and result in less food waste with your grocery planning.
2. Read food labels. Know what’s in your food products! Look at Nutrition Facts panel to compare serving sizes of common products and also compare to what you think you might consume. Use percent Daily Values (DV) to help evaluate particular food items. Percent DV are for the entire day, not just one meal or snack. Daily Values are average levels of nutrients for a person eating 2,000 calories a day. Look at calories, fats, sodium, fibre, sugars, vitamins and minerals and compare to similar products when choosing a particular item. Read ingredients to find out what’s in food products. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. Those in the largest amounts are listed first. Knowing what’s in your food items can help us choose items that are low saturated fats, sugars, and refined flours and grains. Reading food labels is important step to ensuring healthy purchases.
3. Don’t go shopping when your hungry! Have a snack before you shop. You’ve probably heard this time and time again, but this tip definitely holds truth! If you grocery shop on an empty stomach, chances are greater that you will make some poor food selections. While consuming treat foods in moderation is part of a healthy diet, you’ll want to make these choices with a clear mind.
4. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store AND SELECTIVELY in the aisles. Most of the non-processed foods such as produce, meat, eggs, dairy that we need are on the perimeter of the grocery store. However, there are also some great finds in the aisles. You can find dried beans, legumes, whole grains and nut butters in the aisles. These are all very important staples in your kitchen pantry! Just bear in mind that while walking down the aisles, you will also come across many pre-packaged and processed foods that you may need to avoid or choose wisely.
5. Shop the frozen vegetable and fruit aisle! Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at their prime which is usually the time they are most nutrient packed. Frozen produce is just as healthy or more healthy than fresh vegetables and fruit because they are flash frozen at their peak ripeness. Also, they may save you time in food preparation as they are already washed and cut. In addition, frozen produce is generally less expensive and last longer, so they are great additions to your grocery cart.
6. Take a good look at your shopping cart before you pay. Is your cart half filled with fruits and vegetables? Since your plate should be half filled with fruits and veggies, so should your shopping cart! Ask yourself-Did I make healthy choices? Double check that you haven’t made any impulsive decisions and have all the goods to start a week of healthy meal prepping!