These tips will ensure you come home with a bounty of good food
If you have good food in your pantry and fridge, you’ll eat good food. If there’s junk around, it will be tempting, which is why it’s so important to make sure you shop smart for your health when doing the grocery haul.
Unfortunately it’s all too easy to hit the shops with good intentions for only loading up on healthy options at the supermarket, but once there you may find yourself purchasing less than stellar items, only to regret it later.
These tried-and-tested tips from healthy shoppers will help ensure you get out unscathed, with plenty of fresh product, lean protein and wholefood items, and without any of the processes, sugary and packaged options.
Shop the Perimeter
Fresh wholefoods like fruit and veggies, eggs, lean meat, poultry and seafood are typically around the perimeter of the supermarket layout, while less healthy, processed foods are shelved in the aisles. Sticking mostly to the perimeter will help you make the healthiest choices, with the exception of legumes, pulses, complex grains (like quinoa and brown rice), healthy oils (olive oil, coconut oil) and spreads (such as tahini and 100% nut butters).
Plan your weekly meals and snacks before going to the grocery store, so that you are armed with what you need. Having a menu set out for the week ahead is also a great way to keep you on track with your healthy eating!
Once at the store, avoid wandering aimlessly around, don't shop the end-of-aisle displays and stick to your pre-planned shopping list. You’ll shop healthier and also get the bonus perks of saving time and money while you’re at it.
Shop on a Full Stomach
When you're hungry, your blood sugar dips and hormonal changes increase cravings for foods high in sugar, fat and other unhealthy ingredients. This means that if you shop while you are hungry, you are more susceptible to making poor choices at the supermarket.
Make sure you’ve had a good balanced meal before you go to avoid hunger fuelled impulse purchases. If it’s not close to your mealtime, grab a healthy snack (such as vegetable sticks with hummus or a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit) to keep your blood sugar levels stable whilst you shop.
When buying packaged foods, nutrition labels are the first thing you should look at. Skip foods with artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives. If you don’t know what an ingredient is, can’t pronounce it, or it has numbers in it’s name, ditch it! Instead, opt for foods that are low in saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and trans fats, and rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals.