Grocery Shopping Made Easy

October 6, 2011

When you walk in the grocery store, where is the first place you go and where do you spend the most time?

Your answer to this question has a huge impact on the foods you’re buying and eating and what this means for your health. Here are a few pointers to help you steer clear of the aisles you want to stay away from and the best strategy when you walk through the grocery store.

*Outside is best: You want to stay on the outer edges/walls of the store. This is where you will find your fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, fish, etc. These are the healthy items you want to buy lots and lots of!  Just remember, fresh is best.

*Avoid the middle aisles: These aisles are packed with boxed items that may have been sitting in the store for months. These packaged and processed foods such as crackers, chips, soda, juice, cereal, etc. are probably full of partially hydrogenated oils and corn syrup. Even if the box says it has lots of vitamins, you still want to avoid anything with hydrogenated oils/fats and high fructose corn syrup (see prior PB post for more information on why these are both bad for you).

*Always look at the labels: You want to know what is in the food you’re eating.  If it is a long list of words that you can’t pronounce, it probably isn’t good for you.  The longer the list of ingredients, the more processed it is so stay away!  Again, if it says it contains vitamins and minerals, don’t be fooled by this….you can get vitamins and minerals from fresh foods that are much healthier for you.

Food for Thought:  Pay close attention to the ingredients in foods.  They are listed in order from the greatest amount to the least.  Watch out for sugar…it is often the first or second thing listed in many different foods and boxed/packaged items.  The best thing to remember is the fewer the ingredients, the better!  Stay tuned for a future post all about understanding food labels!

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