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Healthy Eating: Making Healthy Choices When You Shop

Healthy eating starts with smart food shopping. Here you will find pointers on how to make the most of your trip to the grocery store. Whether you want to eat healthier or lose weight, these tips will help you get started.

  • Plan ahead. Before you shop, decide on the meals and snacks you want. Think about how much time you have to prepare your meals, and then choose recipes that fit that time frame. For example, you may need to make most of your meals in less than 20 minutes, but maybe you have time to make one recipe that takes longer. When you decide on your menu, check to see which items you already have. Then make a list of the ingredients you will need to buy at the store.
  • Don't shop when you are hungry. Eat a snack or a meal before you shop. This way you won't be as tempted to buy less healthy ready-to-eat foods, such as candy, chips, or fast food, to satisfy your hunger.
  • Buy smart, and be realistic. Include some healthy snack foods and special treats on your shopping list. Remember to include some healthy convenience foods, such as cut-up, bagged, fresh vegetables or lower-calorie or lower-sodium frozen foods.
  • Shop healthy. At the store, use the shopping list you created from your menu plan. You may notice that the items on the outer aisles of the store are mostly fresh foods, such as meat, produce, and dairy. As you shop, pay attention to how much you buy from the outer aisles compared to the inner aisles where you find the more processed foods, such as canned soups, packaged cookies, chips, and soda.

what.gif  What can you do to get started?
why.gif Why is grocery shopping an important part of healthy eating?
how.gif How can you make the most of your shopping trip?
where.gif Where to go from here

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By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Last Revised January 25, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 25, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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