6 Grocery Shopping Tips for Healthier Eating
For many, grocery shopping can be overwhelming and it's very easy to purchase foods that are not the healthiest. That is why I have created a simple list of tips to help you keep your health in mind when grocery shopping!
1: Make a plan before you go to the store
Make it easy for yourself to stick to healthy eating by planning what you will need for groceries BEFORE you go to the store! When you don't have a plan, it's easier to be persuaded to make choices that are not so goal supportive. On top of that, you can waste a lot of your precious time just wandering through the aisles thinking about what to make for the week ahead and creating a lot of decision fatigue for yourself! This is when you likely will just grab what you've been comfortable making and having for years (spaghetti and meatballs anyone?).
If you struggle week after week with not knowing what to eat and looking for a plan, I offer customized nutrition plans! Connect with me to learn more.
2: Don't go to the store hungry
When you are hungry, your hunger will make the decisions for you and before you know it you're walking out of the store with treats in your bag you didn't need. Crush those cravings by having a balanced meal prior to going grocery shopping and you will avoid overbuying on products that don't leave you feeling your best.
3: Stick to the outer perimeter of the grocery store
The fresher foods will always be on the outer perimeter of the store so aim to stock up on these foods. The inner aisles tend to be ultra-processed and contain more ingredients like sugar, artificial flavors, coloring, etc. that don't always support a healthy body. Remember, those foods are manufactured by some brilliant companies to make you crave and want more but I promise you can get the nutrients you need from fresh whole foods.
4: Look at the ingredients of your products
There are soooooooo many products in the grocery stores that are considered "food" but in reality, if you were to actually look at the back of the label and read the ingredients list you will find things like
Artificial sweeteners like Aspartame or sucralose, high fructose corn syrup
Artificial colors like Blue #1, Yellow #6, Red #40
Trans Fats like hydrogenated oil
Preservatives like BHA and BHT
These artificial ingredients can play a role in negatively impacting your health such as blood sugar disturbances, increasing inflammation, and neurological health. Do the best you can to avoid making these ingredients a staple by reading the ingredients list on the products before bringing them home and opting for ingredients you understand.
5: Choose Organic & local products
Live, natural, and good quality products are what I have learned are best suited for optimal health. So by choosing organic products, you will have less exposure to pesticides and chemicals in food that can disrupt your health. Also, choosing locally grown or raised products is a great option as most of these farmers have practices that are typically more natural and humane (connect with them if you're not sure!!) they just might not be certified organic (it's expensive and a lengthy process). At the same time, you get to support a local business. Win-win in my opinion!
Check out EWG's Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list to learn which products have the most and least exposure to pesticides. These lists are fantastic to take with you on your shopping trips to know when to buy organic and when it’s alright to buy conventional.
6: Don't fall for the marketing claims
Some of the products in the store might catch your eye as they look healthy but they may only be giving you the impression that they are healthy for you because of their marketing. This is known as"greenwashing" and it is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company's products are more sustainable or healthy in order to increase sales of their products. Don't fall for all the claims they make on the packages! You can Learn 3 ways to spot greenwashing in my past blog post here!
I hope you find these tips helpful for making healthier choices at the grocery store. If you are looking for personalized support with your health and want to know what it would be like to have a health coach supporting you on your journey, reach out to me! I would love to hear from you.