Top 4 Tips to Shop Healthy at The Grocery Store.
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
With so many options available at the grocery store, it can be overwhelming trying to pick the healthiest options.
When you make the decision you want to start choosing nutritious food for your body, it's hard to navigate the grocery store with your favorite snacks calling your name and misleading labeling on products.
1. Shop the perimeter of the store
In most grocery stores the produce & fresher foods are located on the perimeter and the processed foods are on the shelves in the middle. My best tip is to start along the edge with the fresh fruits and vegetables. When you start filling your cart with whole foods that don't have an ingredients list and came straight from the ground, you're more likely to have less room in there for junk food 😉
Along the edge you may also find the fresh seafood department where you can pick up a nice piece of salmon for dinner. I like choosing this over frozen because there's typically labels saying where it's from and if you have questions you can ask the person behind the counter. If you can, choose wild fish over farm-raised.
2. Eat your colors
Plants & grains that have highly pigmented colors such as dark green, purple, reds, orange, and blues are great indicators that they are packed with loads of nutrients and antioxidants! That’s not to say you shouldn't eat white foods such as cauliflower because it does have its own set of benefits. But when it comes to your plate you want to see the rainbow!
The compounds that create the colors are antioxidants. This means when you eat an array of colors you're providing your body with nutrients that help combat free-radicals (toxins), aging, cancer cells, and boosts immunity.
*artificial colors do not count!
3. Read the ingredients – less is more
You have probably heard this advice before but if you're like I was at the beginning of my health journey, you might be wondering how.
First ignore the calories. A 100 calorie bag of cookies vs. 100 calories from an apple are very different when it comes to nutrition.
Second, look at the first ingredients listed. These are the items used the most in the product. I try to avoid items that list sugar, corn syrup, and white flour to name a few. If it lists a whole food item such as sweet Potatoe, carrots, or brown rice, I feel more comfortable.
Third, check the length and the jargon. If the ingredients list looks more like a paragraph and the it's more science terms than actual food, put the item down. It's a good indicator that it has been highly processed, which means low quality nutrients and hard for your digestion.
4. Choose organic, humanely raised meats.
If your goal is to clean up your diet but you don't want to give up meat, I recommend choosing organic, humanely raised meats. Although this does cost more money it is way better for your health in the long run. Most meat products come from factory farms where animals are fed low quality food, are raised in toxic environments, and given extra hormones that we then consume. You know the saying, you are what you eat? The same applies to the animals. If they consume bad shit- we consume bad shit.
I also suggest trying to avoid or cut down on highly processed meats such as deli meat, sausages, hot dogs, salami, and bacon. The World Health Organization listed these as a group 1 carcinogen meaning there is evidence that these can cause cancer.
I hope you find these tips helpful.
Tag me in on social media @brittbehealthy with your grocery haul!