Oh the dreaded grocery store, how you tempt us with large shopping carts at the front and thousands of choices to fill it with. Decisions, decisions, decisions. While coasting through a sea of food our minds begin to wander and stomachs begin to growl. A large percentage of us enter the grocery store with an empty belly and a full wallet excited about filling our cart with over processed highly marketed foods. The grocery store is a giant mecca of healthy and non-healthy foods, so how do we make healthy, tasty, affordable choices? It is a process to evaluate food and make an intelligent decision. Entering a grocery store can be overwhelming for the average consumer, so I want to provide you with easy guidelines for savvy shopping.
- First and foremost, eat before shopping. Going to the grocery store on an empty stomach is a disaster waiting to happen and our inhibition to make smart choices is thrown out the window. If we satisfy our bodies prior to shopping, we will spend less money and make healthy executive decisions around food.
- Second, learning to read nutrition facts is essential to become a savvy shopper. Large marketing companies are excellent at creating items that are eye appealing and appear to be something they may not be, such as; healthy, good for your heart, or for weight loss. Checkout GenoVive’s blogs on Nutrition Facts to learn the proper way.
- Third, shopping the perimeter of the store can be a good way to start choosing less processed foods. The perimeter normally consists of fresh brightly colored fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meats and poultry. Not to say all foods on the perimeter are healthy. Some stores do a really good job on stretching processed foods around corners and into the perimeters, so be careful. There may be a few isles to venture down to find whole grains, frozen vegetables or fruit, but avoiding the chip, cookie and candy isles can keep your eyes and stomach from making a poor judgment. Out of sight out of mind. Once again, when trying to make a healthy choice refer to the Nutrition Facts.
- Third, if you have local farms or farmers markets you are one step ahead. Shopping local for produce and meat is guaranteed freshness. Talking to your local farmers can provide you with insight on seasonal fruits and vegetables to help you gage what to buy and when to buy it. Purchasing seasonal produce is a cost effective way to afford fresh produce.
After discussing the ins and outs of grocery shopping for a healthy weight, I hope you have a better understanding of how to choose healthy foods to fit your diet.