Grocery shopping can feel hard sometimes. Not knowing how to shop effectively for healthy foods can be a major roadblock between where we are and the healthy lifestyle that we want to have. But it does not have to be so complicated and stressful! Simplicity and some good old-fashioned planning ahead really are key to turning your grocery store experience into an easy part of your routine.
Here is a recap of the top 5 takeaways from our Lead Your Best Life: Grocery Store Tour.
- Read labels: When grocery shopping one of the most important things you can do is to read your food labels. Locate the ingredients list first and choose foods made with ingredients you can pronounce and recognize as real food. Try to pick products with the least amount of additives as possible and aim to purchase items with 5 ingredients or less. The best foods come without a nutrition facts label simply because a banana is a banana. It does not contain ingredients because it is ingredients.
- Watch out for sugar: Always double check the nutrition facts label for sugar content in your foods. Packaged items can often have hidden sugars added to them which can add up very quickly. We want to prioritize choices that have low or no sugar added. This is another reason why is important to always read the ingredients list to identify whether sugar is a main ingredient in the item.
- Prioritize organics: Use the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen as a guide to choosing which fruits and vegetables are a priority to purchase organic. Do not get overwhelmed or too stressed about this. Keep in mind that incorporating more fruits and vegetables in your diet as a whole is much more important than whether or not you are purchasing organic vs non-organic. Do what works for your budget and lifestyle; whatever that looks like for you as long as it includes fresh fruits and veggies!
- Shop the exterior: The key to grocery shopping is to spend most of your time in the outer aisles of the store or shopping the perimeter. This is typically where you will find the fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy/dairy alternatives, meats and eggs. Most of the packaged and more processed foods and snacks live within the inner aisles of the store. You will likely have to pick up a few items from within these aisles (nuts, spices, quinoa, beans, etc.) but try to shop for the majority of your groceries from those outer aisles.
- Make a list: Having a plan helps to set you up for success! Always make a list before you head out grocery shopping. This will help you save time, money and stress. Having a solid game plan of what you need will help you get in and out of the store efficiently with less impulse purchases that you do not need. Try not to go grocery shopping when you are hungry either!