If you’re looking to experience fat-loss results, or simply want to boost your overall health, one of the best decisions you can make is to keep only healthy foods in the house. If you keep unhealthy snacks and convenience foods on hand, the chances are you’ll be tempted to eat them!
Use smart grocery shopping strategies to help you resist temptation.
Learning how to shop for your health in the grocery store is the first step to better eating, whether you are currently dieting or not.
Follow these tips as you wander the grocery store to shop with your health in mind.
10 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips
- Shop the edges of the store. Always try to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store as much as possible. This is where you’ll find all the fresh produce, dairy and meats.
- Avoid the bakery section. The only area you want to dodge on the outskirts is the bakery section. Bakery food is full of empty calories from white flour, margarine and other hydrogenated oils, sugar and lots of chemicals.
- Stay away from the processed foods. Aisles with unhealthy snacks, sodas and packaged convenience meals like ramen and high-sodium canned goods are kept in the middle of the store. These are the main foods you do not want to bring home.
- Always read food labels. If you venture into the inner section of the grocery store, make sure you read the nutrition labels of all foods before placing them in your cart. If you’re not used to doing this, you’ll be surprised by the high amounts of salt, sugar, trans fats and other chemical-based ingredients and artificial sweeteners that you can’t even pronounce.
- Be wary of the frozen food section. Avoiding the ice cream, frozen pizza, pastries and high-sodium/chemical laden frozen meals.
- Stock up on frozen whole foods. Pick up vegetables, fruits, and fish in the frozen section for fast meal preparation. Check ingredients to ensure what you are buying isn’t packed with preservatives.
- Meats for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can choose from organic eggs to preservative free milk (almond milk for the lactose-intolerant), bacon, fresh chicken, ground beef, steaks, and pork to store in your freezer. And, although deli meats used to be a no-no, today you’ll find nitrate-free alternatives that taste just as good as the old bad-for-you stuff!
- Consider purchasing in bulk. Bulk bins can be the most affordable place to pick up foods such as oats, nuts, dry beans, rice, seeds and spices.
- Don’t shop when starving. You’re far more likely to put guilty-pleasure foods into your cart when your stomach is growling.
- Stock up when sales are on. Consider purchasing in bulk when frozen foods and healthy pantry goods are discounted. This way you’ll reduce your grocery costs while ensuring you always have healthy food on hand. Organic is best when you can afford to buy them without taking out a second mortgage on your home!
The Bottom Line
It’s imperative that you are navigating the grocery store properly and thinking about every single food item you place in your cart and always read the label.
If it doesn’t belong in your diet plan, don’t buy it. Even if you think you are buying a box of cookies for another member of your household, will you be able to resist having one or two as well? Be honest with yourself and remove all temptations.
Stick to the most natural food products when shopping in the grocery store by visiting the produce, meat and dairy sections, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success.