For most of us, the majority of the food we eat comes from groceries we have stocked in our kitchen. So if we can learn to have grocery store savvy, then the quality of food we put in our bodies will improve greatly. Here our four simple tips to help you get started in the right direction today.
Bring a List
First, before you even head out to the grocery store, take a quick inventory of any items you are running low on. To save even more time, jot them down on a piece of paper or in your smart phone as you run out of them throughout the week. Pick a few recipes for the upcoming week and add any additional ingredients needed to your list. Grab your recyclable bags and you are ready to go!
Shop the Perimeter
Next, focus on shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where the majority of the fresh items are-produce, fish, meat, etc. Remember that anything you buy in the center aisles is packaged. Obviously you will need some packaged items such as brown rice or frozen veggies, but this should make up the smallest amount of groceries in your cart. What should be the focal point? Produce. Budget-permitting, stock up on as many fruits and vegetables as possible.
When making decisions on which brand to purchase, do not refer to the front packaging as your guide. Slogans such as “all natural,” “heart healthy,” or “cholesterol-friendly,” are marketing tactics to get you to buy their product. Instead, turn to the label on the back where the ingredients are listed. Your goal is to choose items that have five ingredients or less and you can recognize all of the words. One exception to this is if the word “spices” is listed, which is a vague ingedient term allowed for over 15,000 different chemicals.
Local or Organic
The final step is the icing on the cake (figuratively, of course)! Check the prices on the organic version of all items and try to buy as much as you can afford. Organic food prices have dropped dramatically over the years, so compare to conventional products and stock up when you can. Also, keep an eye out for local-this is the best quality out there. If you see organic or local items on sale, take advantage. Local farmers markets are often the most affordable way to go in this regard. Stop by one and you will be amazed!
Although it may seem time-consuming to adopt a healthy lifestyle, it really just takes a bit of preparation and commitment. By taking the time to obtain grocery store savvy, you will ensure your kitchen is always stocked with delicious and healthy choices.
*The information on this site is designed for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Thank you!
~by Kimberly Olson