Good nutrition starts with smart choices. Some find grocery shopping to be rather daunting as the number of products available can be overwhelming!
Do you tend to end up buying stuff that you shouldn’t have? Perhaps a frozen pizza along with the fruits that was your original intended purchase? We’ve all been guilty of that, but not to worry! We’ve put together six rules for you to apply to your next grocery shopping trip that should keep you on the straight and narrow.
Organise Your Pantry
A smartly stocked pantry can save you time and money, and help you eat healthier. Organise your pantry by making note of, and discarding foods that have preservatives, artificial colouring, flavouring, sweeteners or dyes. This is a good headstart for a healthier pantry and you now know which products to not buy on your next trip.
Go With A List
A successful trip to the grocery store starts with a grocery list. This would keep you from adding unnecessary items into your cart and helps you stay organised. Plan your meals for the week and create a list to shop from. Write your list down or use a handy mobile app. You should be filing up your list and cart with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, lean meat, fish poultry, beans and nuts. And make sure you stick to the list!
Have A Colourful Shopping Cart
Every meal should include colourful fruits and vegetables because of their fibre and nutrient densities. Aim for at least three colours at every meal and two servings of fruit, and three servings of vegetables over the course of the day. So load up on a rainbow cart!
Look For Short Ingredients List
Nothing is more important than the ingredients that you put into your body. Always check the ingredient labels when purchasing goods. The shorter the list, the better! Avoid purchasing any food with any ingredients you can’t recognise or pronounce. Applying that general concept to your shopping will help you kick start your healthy shopping habits, as it eliminates the added sugar, fats and preservatives. You will be able to focus on more wholesome food.
Stick With Whole Grains
Swap your usual white bread and white rice for brown rice and whole grain bread. When you’re purchasing whole grain products, make sure you read the ingredients list to ensure they are made from whole grains and not a mixture of whole grains with refined grains. Simply look for those that say 100% whole-grain. One of the biggest health benefits of whole grains is they lower your risk of heart disease, obesity, type-2 diabetes and promote healthy digestion!
Stay Away From The Center Aisle and Frozen Food Section
Always shop the perimeter - avoid the center aisle and frozen food section where the junk food is. Frozen food has a reputation for being budget-friendly and convenient, however they’re not the healthiest of choices. Many frozen foods contain hydrogenated palm oil that are harmful trans fats and the sodium content in frozen foods are high - between 700 to 1800 mg; our daily recommended dosage of sodium is 2,300mg. Remember to always read the fine print. Carefully examine the nutritional label and ingredients before tossing them into your cart.