10 Supermarket Hacks to Eat Healthier
Grocery shopping and eating healthy can be a challenge when you’re pressed for time. How do you shop smart at the supermarket? Start with these 10 healthy shopping tips.
Plan your meals
This is a painful—but necessary—process to go through before even hitting the supermarket. Planning meals helps you focus on your food needs and avoid wasting food (which is also better for your wallet).
Create a shopping list
After you plan your meals for the week, create a shopping list. This makes it easier to remember all needed ingredients and buy the correct quantities. If you can, save some time and energy later by categorizing the food items by sections of the grocery store.
Don’t shop hungry
How many times have you veered off course to the snack department because of a rumbling stomach? Be sure to eat before you visit the supermarket (even if it’s just a quick granola bar or handful of nuts).
Shop the perimeter
Start at the perimeter of the store where a majority of the fresh produce is located. Avoid the interior of the supermarket as much as possible, which mostly consists of processed and prepared food.
Choose a variety of types of food
You don’t want to end up with meals that are high in just one or two food categories (such as only vegetables or only meat). Follow the food pyramid guidelines to choose a variety of ingredients from all different categories for a balanced meal.
Get a rainbow of colors
The color of produce often indicates the nutrients, vitamin and minerals contained inside. For example, orange carrots have beta carotene and purple beets have betacyanins. Use “shop the rainbow” as your mantra to ensure a variety of necessary minerals.
When given a choice between regular and organic foods, be sure to choose organic. This choice might cost you more up-front, but doesn’t cost your health—organic foods are often free of pesticides and other processing ingredients that could be harmful.
Find whole grains
When you must purchase processed ingredients or bakery items, choose items high in fiber and whole grains. Avoid items that are overly processed or contain added sugar or fat.
Choose items low in added salt and sugar
Check ingredients first and make sure the items you’re choosing don’t include high amounts of added salt and sugar. These two added ingredients can cause harmful side effects when consumed in large amounts.
Limit the ingredients
Check the label first—you want items that are natural and low in ingredients (as a rule of thumb, avoid items with five ingredients or more).
If the idea of supermarket shopping sounds overwhelming to you, leave the fresh eating to Health Meal Plan. We offer home-cooked, fresh and healthy meals delivered directly to your door (so you can avoid the time and hassle of navigating the grocery store jungle).