With thousands of competing brands lining cluttered isles of grocery stores, shopping for healthy food can easily become an overwhelming task. Ever wonder where exactly the healthy food is? Try these tips for finding healthy food at your grocery store.
Shop the Perimeter
A common rule of thumb is to stick to the perimeter of the store. Typically the perimeter consists of produce, meats, and dairy. Venturing deep into the isles reveals much more room for error. While in the isles, stick to bread (whole grain of course), pasta (whole grain again), beans, etc. While in the isles, be prepared to read nutrition facts and ingredient lists.
Can’t really go wrong here. All natural and packed with vitamins and minerals, the produce section should be your grocery shopping playground. With all the healthy choices available, experimenting with different fruits and vegetables each week can keep your healthy diet fresh and exciting.
Things can get tricky here. Lean meat is a great source of protein and minerals, but the wrong types can be high in saturated fat. This is also where label reading begins. Typically packaging is labeled 93% lean or 97% lean. 93% is much less expensive, but when comparing nutrition facts, there is much more fat. If you are aiming for healthy, invest in the leanest meat possible. For this reason, it is recommended that red meat is consumed sparingly, so don’t forget the chicken.
A great source of vitamins and calcium, dairy can also add unwanted fat to your diet. Look for low-fat or fat-free dairy products as part of your healthy diet.
All Natural and Organic
These are popular phrases in the healthy food industry, and most grocery stores have special isles dedicated to them. These are helpful areas. They contain trusted brands and there is less junk for you to sort through. But be careful, because while all natural is likely better for your body, it can still be high in calories and high in fat.
Don’t Be Deceived
Wouldn’t it be nice if food were just food? Natural and pure, we wouldn’t have to worry about reading labels before putting it into our bodies. But it is what it is, so we must read labels. Don’t fall for flashy marketing ploys on the front of the packaging. Turn the product over, read the nutrition facts box, and read the ingredients. The ingredients are by far the best way to tell if the food is actually healthy. Is the ingredient list a paragraph long? Be wary. Can’t understand the majority of the ingredients? Put it back.
With the vast array of choices at grocery stores, finding the healthy food can be overwhelming. But going in with a plan, and being aware of what to look for, can help you find the truly healthy food at your grocery store.
Healthy grocery shopping = healthy meals at dinner time. Keep it clean when shopping and your at home meals will follow