Keeping a healthy home starts with smart visits to the local supermarket. When you know how to grocery shop for optimal health, achieving it becomes a lot more attainable. You can truly change your life by changing your diet, but you’ve got to know how to shop for the foods that will allow you to do so.
What we choose to purchase really does have an effect on the products that end up on grocery store shelves. By choosing to purchase the foods that support optimal health, we vote with our dollar, truly taking a stand to see more of the healthiest options readily available.
Knowing what to buy and how to shop can truly make a difference in our health and what will continue to be offered for generations to come. The more we shop for healthy food, the more healthy food choices we’ll continue to see.
If you want to be a part of the health-food revolution it’s vital you know how to shop for groceries. Whether you’re new to eating healthy or have a few seasons of healthy eating under your belt, the following tips will help you be a better shopper and ensure you’re buying what counts.
Nothing spells disaster like going to the grocery store without a plan. It’s one of the easiest ways to buy a bunch of food that’s bad for you. Plan out your meals for the next few days or week, write a list, and stick to only what is on your list. And whatever you do, don’t ever go to the grocery store hungry. Planning your shopping trip is one of the first thing to learn about smart grocery shopping, and will revolutionize the way you shop for food once you make it a part of your regular shopping routine.
The perimeter of the supermarket is where you’re going to find the healthiest choices. Hit the produce section first and stock up on an array of fresh fruits and veggies. Carrot sticks and celery make a much better snack than a single serving of goldfish crackers and contain way less sugar than your typical chewy granola bar. Make your way around the grocery store getting your basics like fruit and veggies, meat, eggs, and dairy products before hitting any aisles where the processed, junk food tend to be shelved.
Eating whole foods is vital when it comes to positively impacting your health and the health of your family. Whole grains, fresh and dried fruits (just watch for added sugar), vegetables, 100% juice not from concentrate, lean meats and proteins, beans, nuts, and some dairy products are all examples of whole foods that will have a positive impact on your health.
If you knew the health impacts on some of the food that you purchase for you and your family, you would most likely make some serious changes to what you buy. Not everything labeled “healthy” is good for you. When I first found out what the health impacts were on some of the food I thought was good for myself and my family, I literally had to re-learn how to grocery shop. What you eat truly does have an impact on the way you feel. Knowing the negative AND positive health impacts of what you’re eating is vital.
Knowing how to read your labels is crucial to eating and purchasing the right foods. One easy tip is to avoid foods with more than five ingredients. And forget about purchasing anything you can’t pronounce. Some common ingredients to look out for and always avoid include: any artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, partially or fully-hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives (BHA, BHT, TBHQ, sodium benzoate, sodium nitrate and nitrite), monosodium glutamate (MSG), and trans fats. Knowing how to read your food labels is crucial when grocery shopping. Learn what to avoid and you’ll end up avoiding some serious health issues.
There’s a common misconception that when you make a switch to healthy living that everything you buy has to be organic. Not only is this completely false, but it can become extremely expensive! Becoming familiar with what to buy organic and what doesn’t really matter can be lifesaving when it comes to shopping healthy. There’s a little rule of thumb many savvy health food shoppers stick to known as the “Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15”. The Dirty Dozen is a list of 12 foods that are the laden with the most chemicals. The Clean 15 on the other hand, are a list of 15 fruits and veggies that are safe to buy non-organic. Print out these lists or write them down, and be sure to keep them handy the next time you go shopping.
A little bit of knowledge goes a long way when shopping for healthy food at the grocery store. By beginning with these basics, you can start to choose to shop for the foods that will best benefit your health and the health of your family.