It’s easy to say that you want to eat healthy. But making healthy food choices isn’t something you can do without proper planning.
Remember that eating well requires a variety of nutrient packed foods and even healthier beverages. You also need to consider your calorie needs and the calorie counts of anything you place on your plate.
In most cases a healthy diet designed to help maintain a healthy weight requires a combination of foods low in trans and saturated fats, added sugars, cholesterol, and salt, and healthier food options. These include fruits, vegetables, grains, meat and beans, and milk.
Add to this portion control, and you’re one way to eating healthy and living well.
Considering that a majority of food items you need for your diet are perishables, healthy eating also means smart shopping.
There’s no way you can shop for produce that will last for a month. Well, okay, shopping is not a problem, but ensuring food items stay fresh for the next 30 days is. There’s also the problem of going into a grocery with one thing in mind and coming out with something completely different in your bag.
It’s so easy to be tempted to buy items that are not good for your health when you’re surrounded with them.
Of course, there are solutions.
Healthy Shopping Skills You Must Learn
Familiarize your local grocery store
If you know which section of the store the healthy food options are, you won’t need to pass through tempting junk foods.
Since you can’t go to the grocery store with blinders on, you should know where most healthy food items are grouped together.
- Fruits and vegetables are likely to be found at the produce aisle.
- Grains are likely to be at the cereal aisle or the bread aisle.
- Calcium-rich foods, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, can be found at the refrigerated aisles or dairy case.
- Protein foods, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, soy, and nuts, can be found in deli section, meat and poultry case, seafood counter, egg case, salad bar, and canned goods aisle.
Of course, if there’s a local farmer’s market near you, familiarize that instead.
To avoid wandering aimlessly at the supermarket, make a list of food items that you need to buy.
Make your life easier by planning your meals for the entire week, and then create a grocery list based on those.
Doing so lets you kill two birds with one stone. Or make that three since a list will spare you from buying anything unhealthy.
Learn more about the nutrition facts
Shopping for healthy foods often require that you read the label. And you need to know what to look for to ensure better nutrition.
Choose items that contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and E. Avoid or keep to a minimum those with trans and saturated fats, fats, cholesterol, and sodium.
Make sure to check the %Daily Value (DV) column as well. “%DVs are based on a 2,000 calorie diet” and should be higher or lower, depending on how much calorie you need.
This can be a bit tricky, but definitely worth knowing.
Say your calorie diet is 2,000.
If the label says the total fat is 65g (DV), the %DV is equivalent to 100%DV. In this case, the goal is to get something with less than 65g of total fat to be within the upper or lower limits of the listed nutrients recommended by public health experts.
You can get more information from the FDA’s Nutrition Facts Label.
An alternative would be to use the “Altman rule” that recommends that you only buy products with a combined amount of protein and fiber higher than the sugar per serving.
Hate shopping but needs to buy fresh, healthy foods?
Order your groceries online and have them delivered to you.
Doing so will eliminate any form of temptation you’re likely to encounter while at the supermarket. It’s also more convenient since someone else will do the grocery shopping on your behalf.
What is even better is that you save time and effort when you don’t need to shop every week. You can then use your spare for something more important instead.
Given the number of services related to delivery of non-perishables, including online grocery delivery, smart shopping just became smarter. You get to stick with healthy food options and diet as well.
Still, it would help to stay organized with online deliveries by following tip#2. Preparing a list based on the meals you want to cook within a week will make ordering online so much easier and faster.