Healthy Eating Starts with Healthy Shopping
By: Nely Ward
Good nutrition all starts with smart choices in the grocery store. It is a startling revelation once you realize that nobody actually teaches you how to grocery shop. Therefore, I have put together some tips that will help on your future grocery shopping outings. These tips are perfect for any level athletes and those who are health conscious. It will assist you on the road to being your best and healthiest self.
- Don’t go to the Grocery Store Hungry
- This is a preventative measure more than a tip. It is easier to see something that is tempting and unhealthy to buy when you are hungry and impulsive. Have a healthy snack before-hand so that you do not make any “hangry” mistakes or regrets. A handful of almonds is the perfect snack before heading into the grocery store.
- Bring a Shopping List
- Maximize your efficiency and make a list beforehand. This is also helpful when you plan out your meals for the week to include all ingredients you will need.
- Be Realistic
- When you are creating a healthy grocery list, it is important to be realistic about the food you will actually eat to eliminate a waste of money and food.
- Stick to the Perimeter of the Store
- Fresh produce, meat and dairy are kept on the perimeter of the grocery store, whereas packaged foods are in the center aisle. Stick to the perimeter as much as possible.
- Avoid packaged and processed items located in the center of the store. Nowadays, many of the items in the grocery store are processed and packaged, meaning they have been stripped of their nutrients. Which can be very discouraging when you’re trying to live a healthy life.
- Choose rainbow colored fruits and vegetables. Colors reflect vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrient content.
- Meat, Fish, Poultry
- Be sure to choose lean cuts of meat and opt for skinless poultry. I recommend eating 2 servings of fish per week as it is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, widely available, and also affordable.
- Dairy is an excellent source of Vitamin D and Calcium, and there are plenty of low fat and nonfat options.
- Shop Consciously
- Try to pay attention to how products are made and their source. Purchasing USDA Organic helps to eliminate GMO’s and pesticides.
- USDA Organic
- Made with at least 70% organic ingredients
- Made without artificial preservatives
- Raised without antibiotic or added hormones (federal regulations prohibit the use of added hormones in poultry)
- Buy Foods with Ingredients You Can Pronounce.
- One strategy for knowing if something is good for you is to read the ingredients. If they include a long list of names you cannot pronounce it may not be the best for you (unpronounceable ingredients= sugar)
- Remember the quote from one of my favorite nutrition authors “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother would not recognize as food”
- Get one New Healthy Food on Each Shopping Trip
- Instead of viewing grocery shopping as a chore, have some fun with it and allow yourself to try one new healthy food each time. Next time you are at the store pick up a fruit or vegetable you have never had before.
Use these tips on your next shopping trip, to help lead to the ultimate goal of being the healthiest athlete you can be.