Healthy Shopping 101
Healthy eating starts with one key activity—healthy shopping. When you head to the grocery store, it is easy to pick up lots of foods that are bad for our bodies without even realizing it. Shopping for a healthy diet can be difficult if you do not know how to do so, but with these tips, you should find it easier to do so the next time you head to the grocery store.
First, have a plan before you ever leave your house. Use the sales fliers to check out the great products that are on sale and take an inventory of your pantry and refrigerator to see what foods you need to purchase. Make a list of all of the foods you’ll need and stick to that list. Allow yourself one or two compulsory buys, but otherwise stay to the ingredients you’ll need to cook healthy meals for yourself and your family for the rest of the week. Before you leave, review your list and take out any unnecessary junk food.
Another great shopping tip to go along with making a list is to shop for a week at a time, or even longer if you have a large freezer. When you have to run to the grocery store every day, you are more likely to pick up junk food items every time you make a trip, and before you know it, your snack supply will be overflowing. You can shop for a week or two in advance by taking a day to plan meals for the week and packaging fresh product to be frozen.
When you’re shopping, it is also important to read the label. Try to avoid purchasing brand name items simply because they are brand name or store brand items simply because they are less expensive. Actually look at the product’s nutritional value and try to get the most nutrients for your money. When you eat higher quality foods, you’ll feel more full and, in turn, eat less, so this really is the best way to bargain shop.
If you are just shopping for yourself, you should also consider picking up a basket at the door instead of getting a shopping cart. The biggest problem with health and grocery shopping is grabbing junk food items that you don’t really need. If you have a small basket, you simply won’t have room for chocolate brownies and ice cream with your load of other foods, so you’ll pass them by.
Lastly, don’t forget to consider drinks into your healthy shopping plan. Most people don’t realize it, but sodas, punches, and beers can have many empty calories and are generally bad drink choices. Instead, look at the labels and choose diet drinks, water and sports drinks, or natural fruit juices, like apple juice. With these tips, healthy eating—and shopping—should be much easier!