10 Tips to Healthy Grocery Shopping
It’s a new year! 2012 already? That happened way too fast, but I am a bit disappointed because I was sure that by now we would all be driving flying cars and using teleporters.
But I digress, back to the new year and new resolutions. This year I resolve to have the best year in kids belts history! That should be easy because I only have to compete with 3 years and while they were great years, I am certain that this will be the best. That’s not my only resolution, like tons of people out there, I am making a resolution for health. Maybe I should be more specific, good health. I’m not looking to lose mounds of weight and be super model skinny thereby making my head look hugely disproportional to my tiny frame, I just want to be healthy. In my search for healthy-ness (shhh, I can make up words if I want…), I thought I would pass along some healthy shopping tips that I picked up.
- Shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where the good fresh stuff is located. The produce section, fresh meat section and dairy section are the best places to shop for clean eating.
- LIST LIST LIST Take a few extra minutes before you go shopping to plan out your weeks worth of meals and make a list. If you have a smart phone, there are so many free apps out there that are specifically for shopping lists. The really neat thing about those apps is that they will also organize your list for you into sections so in the long run it makes the shopping trip go much faster! (I like the ShopListFree app. It’s very basic, but also user friendly.) Some of the apps even include pricing, so you can keep it budget friendly!
- Focus on Fiber Officially, fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Most adult women should shoot for over 20 grams of fiber a day; men should shoot for over 30 grams. Some great sources are whole fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and breakfast cereals, and all manner of beans. You should choose foods that list whole grains (like whole wheat or whole oats) as a first ingredient. Bread, cereal, crackers and other grain foods should have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
- Avoid Overly Processed Food Box mixes and canned food, while they are convenient, are riddled with sodium. Try to avoid boxed food altogether and if you must get canned food, always opt for low/no sodium choices.
- Buy Lean Cuts of Meat There are so many choices out there now with chicken and turkey (ground meats, sausages, cutlets, etc…) that it’s much easier to make substitutions. Beef and pork aren’t too bad in moderation, but you definitely should get the very lean cuts.
- Dairy Opt for low-fat items. Cabot has some really great low-fat cheese options (Cheddar, habanero, jalapeno and pepper jack). Skim milk is a good choice and if you are going for yogurt, opt for Greek yogurt. It packs more of a protein punch and has little to no fat. Plain Greek yogurt also makes a wonderful substitute for sour cream.
- SAY NO TO IMPULSE JUNK Resist impulse buys while standing in the check out isle. Don’t let those candy peddlers win! You don’t need the candy bar or that bag of chips. Put it back…
- Resist the Twinkies Ok, it’s hard to jump into healthy eating, so if you are going to pick up some not so healthy treats, limit it to what you can fit in the top of the buggy (you know, where a small child usually sits). Then when you get in line to check out, re-evaluate those choices and ask yourself again if you really want (NEED) it.
- Don’t Meander Shop with a purpose. When you aimlessly meander through the store, you open yourself up to more impulse buys. You also fall into the stores sales traps, the end caps. The end caps are where bad food goes to tempt you and the store pretends that they are “practically giving it away”. Usually, the deals aren’t that great anyway. Just walk away.
- Don’t Go Hungry A huge mistake is to shop when you are hungry. Everything looks good when you are hungry and when you are hungry your stomach is telling you that you NEED it all. So save yourself some trouble, eat before you shop. You will thank me later.
So, that’s it. That’s my miracle list for healthy grocery shopping. I know that its not an exhaustive list by any means, but it is a start. I hope you can use at least a few to make your 2012 the healthiest ever!