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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Quick Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping


photo by appaloosa

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Buy most of your food from the outer perimeter of the store

Most grocery stores have basic staple items around the perimeter of the store. Produce, dairy, meats, and bread can usually be found by avoiding the store aisles. The aisles house the things that most people should avoid...processed, boxed, and canned goods. The exception is frozen vegetables. They do tend to be located in the frozen food aisles. Pick up those frozen vegetables, but avoid the frozen pizzas, etc. What about canned vegetables, you ask? Of the three choices, fresh, frozen, or canned; canned should be at the bottom of the list. Canned vegetables tend to have lots of extra sodium added to them and they leach water-soluble vitamins and minerals into the water in the cans, which is typically thrown away. Stick with frozen or fresh vegetables.

Don't go shopping while you are hungry

This is a no-brainer. If you go to the grocery store while you are hungry, you are more likely to buy things that you don't need...and those extra items tend to fall into the junk category, i.e. high fat, high sugar items. By allowing yourself to get hungry, you will crave foods that provide a quick jolt of energy and the last place you want to be when that happens to you is in a grocery store with an "unlimited" supply of such foods for purchase.

Make a grocery list before you go...and stick to it!

I would even suggest you take it a step further and think about planning a few meals for the week. This will let you easily create a grocery list of items that you need, you will have a few of your meals planned and you will be less likely to get home and say to yourself, "I don't know what to cook tonight. I think I'll just hit the chinese buffet down the street." Stick to the list and you might even save a few dollars by avoiding the temptation to buy things that you don't really need.

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