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
- 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.
If you have questions about this information, it may help
to talk to a dietitian. You may want to print out this information and mark
areas or make notes in the margins where you have questions.