You know where your healthier eating goals start, right?
In the supermarket!
Here we have...
6 Shopping Tips For Eating Healthier
➊ Make a list, and stick to it!
You probably have all the best intentions to improve your eating, and even have a clear idea of what it should look like. Well, don't leave it to memory or habit to go ahead and buy the right foods. Make a list and stick to it.
➋ Shop the perimeter
For some reason, most supermarkets have the fruit sections, veggies, fresh cuts, and mostly the good stuff in the "outer ring" of the store. Fill your cart with food from this outer ring first, and go down the isles later.
➌ Learn to read food labels ;)
It's simply a good idea to not rely on health claims by food brands. Read the Nutrition Facts tables to help you make better food choices.
➍ Insist on fresh meat and fish
Ask the fishmonger or butcher if you can smell before you buy, Meat should smell clean and bright, not like copper, sour yogurt, or runny cheese.
➎ Avoid shopping when you’re hungry
You knew this one, but worth repeating. If you shop while hungry, you’ll be more tempted to buy unhealthy food.
➏ Buy unseasoned [anything].
Oven-ready easy-to-cook fish, chicken, and other cuts of meat may be convenient, but come full of additives, way more salt than you need, and chemicals. Always go for adding your own seasoning at home.
Making A Healthy Shopping List
OK, so that's all well and good, but how do you actually put together a healthy shopping list and meal plan? We'll walk you through healthy food options you should have on your grocery list if you want to improve your health.
Greens and Vegetables
You knew this! Always make sure to eat your veggies! Leafy greens are chock full of vitamins and antioxidants. Of course, fresh options are always healthier just be careful to choose low-fat salad dressings and go light on the olive oil), but if you have no way to store fresh foods or find frozen vegetables more convenient, you'll still find them to be a healthier option than processed foods.
Some people may need to go lighter on the fruit, since it tends to naturally contain more sugar than vegetables, but fresh fruits are a great way to load up on vitamins and antioxidants. Just like with veggies, fresh fruit will be packed with more nutritional goodness than frozen fruit or dried fruit. But as long as you are opting for these healthy foods, you should see the health benefits.
Of course, you'll need to be careful when adding bread to your grocery list. Processed bread may as well just be empty carbs and are often filled with added sugar. To avoid these issues, opt for whole wheat or whole-grain bread whenever possible.
Cereals and Breakfast Foods
As fun as they are to eat and look at, high sugar cereals aren't a good morning meal choice ... no matter how many vitamins might be packed into them. Whole wheat and whole-grain options are ideal, especially if you want to avoid those added sugars and extra carbs.
Stick to whole foods as much as possible, whole wheat pasta should be healthier and offer lower carbs than the alternatives. Be careful to choose low-sodium and low-fat (if using a white or cheese base) sauce options. Remember to add lots of veggies and high-protein meats to your meal!
Meat Including Fish And Poultry
There's nothing wrong with adding meat to your diet, just make sure you're choosing lean proteins and opt for white meats whenever you can. Ground turkey, turkey breast, chicken breasts, and all sorts of fish can be a great way to consume a low-fat, high-protein diet. While we want to avoid high-fat meals, healthy fats are a necessary part of a healthy diet, and fish can be a great way to obtain them.
Low fat dairy is a healthier option than full fat dairy, but items like cottage cheese and greek yogurt can make for a delicious and convenient morning meal. Try to find choices that offer extra calcium or vitamin D. Dairy alternatives like almond milk can be a great choice to ensure low fat content.
Lentils, beans, and brown rice can be a great way to eat a low fat, high-protein, sugar free diet packed with nutrition. Black beans are often considered to be the healthiest variety of bean, but don't let that stop you from noshing on some garbanzo beans or chickpeas! Beans of all types (except refried versions with added oils and salt) are great additions to your diet.
Nut butters (like a spoonful of peanut butter), fresh fruit, cottage cheese (preferably low fat), greek yogurt, and other whole food options are the best choices for healthy snacks. If you really want to try to satisfy a craving with your snack options, go ahead indulge in some dried fruit or dark chocolate on occasion.