The grocery store can be a challenging place to find healthy and nutritious foods when you are trying to watch your weight. It’s easy to be tempted by shelves overflowing with colorful, high-calorie packaged goods at the end of an aisle that appear so appealing. But it is possible to plan a weekly menu and shop smarter for better nutrition, without giving up taste.
Here are some tips for how you can make healthier choices in the store:
1) Pay attention to nutrition facts labels on low-fat, low-calorie packaged goods because they often contain artificial sweeteners or chemical preservatives.
2) Read the ingredient lists on food packages carefully. If you are not familiar with what some of the ingredients are, or if they sound like a foreign language to you, add the product to your list of things to ask your family doctor about.
3) Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of the healthiest foods can be found at your local farmers’ market or even from an acquaintance who sells them on their front lawn. This is a great way to support family businesses and eat fresh produce that is in season.
4) Check the nutrition facts label on fresh produce. Make sure it is a product you want to eat. Some fruits and vegetables can be very high in salt, sugar or fat.
5) Scan the inside of your refrigerator for hidden ingredients like mayonnaise, ketchup, sauces and salad dressings.
The little extras may add up to a lot of extra fat, calories and sugar. Try to use fresh ingredients where possible for better nutrition.
6) Cook extra servings of homemade meals like soups and stews so you can have a second helping the next day for lunch or dinner. It is easier to control the amount of salt, sugar or high-fat foods that you add when you are cooking from scratch at home than it is at a restaurant or in a packaged food product.
7) Check the ingredients list on canned foods and compare those to the contents list on fresh produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables tend to have higher levels of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber than canned food.
8) Look on the center of your grocery store shelves for meat that is not pre-packaged or processed. The portion size can be smaller, but the quality might be higher if you know where your food came from.
Healthy eating starts at the grocery store learn here how to make the most of your trip to the grocery store.