Your Healthy Grocery List – Tips for Healthy Supermarket Shopping
Eating healthy is important, but you cannot whip up a healthy meal if there is no food in the house. Your healthy eating habits start where you buy your food – at the local grocery store or supermarket.
You do not have to blow your entire paycheck at the organic grocery or health food store. With a little bit of planning and some old fashioned discipline, you can find great healthy ingredients at your regular store. Just use these simple tips to get started.
- Check the list of ingredients – the size of the ingredient list matters a lot. If that ingredient list takes up half the package, chances are the product is heavily processed and potentially unhealthy.
- Read the label – the nutritional label is full of useful information, from the number of calories per serving to the amount of fat and the fiber content. Get in the habit of reading those labels, and use that information to make smart buying decisions.
- Start with the produce section – fill your shopping cart in the produce section, focusing on healthy in season fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables should make up a large portion of every meal. Make sure they represent a large portion of your shopping basket as well.
- Shop the perimeter of the store – the outer sections of the grocery store are often home to the healthiest choices. From produce to fresh cut meats and healthy seafood, the perimeter of the store is a great place to find healthy food.
- Look for fresh herbs and spices – those dried and bottled spices are fine in a pinch, but fresh is always better. Look for fresh garlic bulbs and grind your own for those great recipes. Buy fresh basil and dry it for long-term storage. Fresh herbs taste better, and they are better for you as well.
- Use sales to stock up on healthy staples – it is a sad reality that healthy items are often more expensive than junk food. Fight back by stocking up on those healthy staples when they go on sale. Watch the weekly circulars, make your list and buy in bulk to save money.
- Get to know your local butcher – the butcher at your grocery store can be your best ally in your quest for healthy cooking. Ask your new best friend to trim the fat from those roasts and steaks before you buy them, or to choose the leanest cuts of meat for your family.
- Choose whole grain breads and pastas – switching from heavily processed white bread and bleached pasta to whole grain varieties is one of the best things you can do for your health.
- Watch out for products marketed to kids – even if you have children, it pays to steer clear of cereals, juices and other products that are targeted at them. These products often contain lots of added sugars and other potentially harmful ingredients.
- Watch those percentages – when shopping for juice, look for 100% juice on the label. Many seemingly healthy juices are loaded down with added sugars and artificial ingredients.