Grocery shopping can be an overwhelming event if you don’t go prepared. Even when you plan ahead and come with a list, it’s hard to avoid the temptations that are always there. How many times have you unpacked your groceries and realized there are more things you bought that weren’t on your list than items that were? To help with this seemingly inevitable problem, lets go isle by isle to come up with ways you can keep your grocery shopping experience as healthy as possible.
Go for a rainbow of bright colors when you reach for fruits and vegetables. Each different color indicates certain vitamins and nutrients, so the more you get, the healthier your diet will be.
Choose items that fit these three parameters: less than 10 grams of sugar, at least 3 grams of fiber and no more than 150 calories per serving. These will keep your blood sugar levels in range and help you feel full longer.
Try to choose fruits and veggies as snacks, but if you want something a little more salty or crunchy, go for raw or smoked nuts, basic or lightly flavored popcorn. Nuts give you omega 3 fatty acids, which are incredibly good for you, and fiber which will keep you full for a long time.
When deciding which oil to use, reach for olive or canola oil. These give your body more omega 3 fatty acids plus the healthy fats your body needs.
If you like canned fruits, choose the ones that are either unsweetened or packed with a low sugar liquid. Go crazy with canned beans. These are great to add to so many dishes, including soups, salads and pastas. They’re full of flavor, fiber, and healthy nutrients.
This can be a danger zone if you don’t plan ahead. Ignore the donuts, cookies and pastries, and reach for 100% whole grain bread, bagels and English muffins. These won’t give you empty carbs that just turn into sugar and extra weight.
If you want to buy meat, choose lean cuts and meats from animals that are fed natural diets, and not injected with growth hormones. Any chemicals they ate will end up in your system as well. Fish is always a great option because they’re full of omega 3 fatty acids.
You may be tempted to buy ice cream, frozen pizza and cinnamon rolls, but be strong. Feel free to get frozen vegetables and frozen fruit. Frozen vegetables are great to add as side dishes to main meals, and in soups. Frozen fruit is great for smoothies and to add to morning oatmeal.
Select the lower fat dairy items whenever possible. Just make sure to read the labels to check the sugar content. Sometimes more sugar is added when fat is removed, so do your homework and choose the healthiest option.