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Food-Drink-Nutrition > Grocery Cart
Now that you’ve successfully organized your kitchen to help you become a more fit and healthy you, it’s time to hit the grocery store. The decisions that you make here will be very important to your overall success. It’s important to choice wisely when selecting anything that goes into your shopping cart to go home with you, as there’s quite a bit of temptation on those shelves!
For the best results, plan you trip to the supermarket before you go. This all starts by making a list. Before you set out for the food store, plan your meals for the week, and create a list to shop from that you stick to. As we’ve discussed, smart decisions start at home and planning ahead can improve your health, while saving you time and making your day more enjoyable. Decide which foods you need and the quantity of them that will last until your next shopping trip before you leave the house.
When you leave your home to visit the grocery store, arrange to shop shortly after one of your six daily meals. Shopping on an empty stomach may lead to poor decisions that are made on impulse and aren’t the healthiest choices.
When you arrive at the store, try to approach the various aisles as separate departments. Each has certain smart options that you’re seeking. The sections that you should be focusing on most for fit & healthy results include produce (fruit & veggies), dairy, meat, & whole grains.
Most large food markets keep all of their freshest and healthiest foods around the perimeter of the store. For the best results, spend more of your time shopping the outside aisles of the grocery store, where fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and fish are usually located. Try to stay away from the center aisles, where less desirable and unhealthy processed choices are found.
The Nutrition Facts on the food label are your guide to making healthy choices. Read the labels as you shop, and pay attention to serving size, calories, and servings per container. Compare the total calories in similar products, and choose the lowest calorie option. This, combined with choosing foods low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and salt (sodium), will help to ensure that you are eating a healthy diet while helping to maintain a healthy weight. If you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, do so sensibly and in moderation. Using the Nutrition Facts panel is essential to compare choices and make the best decisions.
Most of us are creatures of habit and tend to eat and drink the same things all the time. When shopping for your food, try your best to fill your cart with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, lean meat, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts. A good rule of thumb to remember is that the shorter the ingredient list, the healthier the food usually is. Choose fresh foods with as little processing and as few additives as possible; look for foods with a minimum of one to two grams of fiber for every 100 calories you eat. Foods made with partially hydrogenated oil, trans fats or corn syrup should be avoided at all costs.
If you don’t want you or your children eating unhealthy foods, don’t buy them and bring them home! While you may find yourself looking back and forth between the fridge and the pantry for poor choice snacks, you’ll be thankful later that you don’t have them to tempt you. For the best possible results and healthiest options, try focusing most of your time at the grocery store looking for the items listed below.
Where to find: Produce section, canned goods, frozen foods aisle, salad bar
Variety: Fresh, Frozen, Canned and Dried Fruits (if canned or frozen, no added sugar)
Vegetables, Nuts, and Beans
Where to find: Produce section, canned goods, snack aisle, frozen foods aisle, salad bar
Variety: Fresh, Frozen, Canned and Dried (if canned, low-sodium)
Where to find: Bakery, pasta section, cereal aisle, rice & bean section, bread aisle
Variety: Choose whole grains
Where to find: Dairy Case
Variety: Choose skim, soy, almond, or coconut milk, sugar free yogurt, and low-fat cheeses, cottage cheese, and sour cream.
Where to find: Meat & poultry section, the deli area, seafood counter
Variety: Choose lean meats, skinless boneless poultry, fresh fish, tofu, or tempeh