Good nutrition and healthy habits often start in the grocery store. Let’s be real though—sometimes it’s overwhelming to try to shop healthy at the store. With an abundance of low-fat, low-carb, and “light” options in the store, how do you choose the healthiest options for you and your family? Nobody has time to spend hours in the grocery store studying food labels.
Check out these tips to help make grocery shopping for healthy foods an EASY task:
1. Plan ahead!
Before you hit the grocery store, make a menu of all the meals you plan to cook from this trip. From there, create a shopping list. It takes a few minutes to plan, but it will help prevent missed ingredients from the store.
2. Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store.
While shopping, try to stick to the edges of the store. This is where fresh foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, meats, and fish are usually found. Try to avoid the middle aisles, where most processed “junk food” is found.
3. Stick to the 80/20 box rule.
Before checking out, take a peek at your cart. Only about 20% of the contents should be in a box. Think about foods that come in boxes boxes. For the most part boxed foods, like crackers, cookies, and frozen meals, are processed and include little nutrients and excess sugar. On the flip, about 80% of your cart should include real foods, such as meat, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits.
4. The fewer ingredients, the better.
I encourage you to take a quick glance at the ingredients list on food labels while shopping. As a general rule of thumb, remember that the fewer the ingredients, the better. Most processed, unhealthy foods contain all sorts of added sugars, fats, and preservatives, so they tend to have longer ingredient lists.
5. Buy whole grains and (some) healthy fats in bulk.
If you buy whole grains, such as quinoa and brown rice, and some healthy fats, including almonds, in bulk, you’ll be surprised how much money you save over time. Plus, you’ll always have a healthy go-to snack or dinner ingredients at home.
6. As soon as you get home from the grocery store, cut up all fruits and vegetables.
How many times have you bought fruits and veggies at the store, only to have them spoil in the refrigerator before you even cut them up? It’s definitely happened to me before! I recommend washing and cutting up ALL fruits and vegetables before putting them away in the refrigerator. You’re MUCH more likely to eat them if they are ready-to-go!