The key to being a healthy eater is to know what you should (and what you should not) put in your grocery cart when you are at the store. If you don’t have unhealthy snack food in your house, then you won’t have anything unhealthy to snack on, right? Well, it’s not that easy for everyone.
Some people have a hard time resisting putting junk in their grocery cart in the first place, and others don’t even know the difference between what’s healthy and what’s unhealthy. Well, this article is here to enlighten you on how to shop for groceries so that you go home with healthy and delicious groceries rather than chips, beer, and twinkies.
Rule 1 – Don’t Go Shopping When You Are Hungry
Now just about everyone has heard this rule before but because it’s so important, there’s a good point in repeating it. If you are trying to shop for groceries when you are hungry, you lose focus of why you are there. Instead of buying items that you can use to make healthy, low-fat meals at home, you will get distracted by the snacks, the fast-food dinner packages and other unhealthy stuff that you don’t want to put in your body.
Also, you will probably end up spending more money at the grocery store if you go there while you are hungry. When your eyes are bigger than your stomach, you will end up being items that are unnecessary and this will cost you hard-earned cash.
Rule 2 – Don’t Take Your Kids Grocery Shopping With You
This is a huge mistake that parents make over and over again. Of course, sometimes it’s necessary to take the kids with you because there’s no where to leave them, but if you can avoid taking them with you, you should. First, kids are not good in grocery stores. They are easily overwhelmed by all the things they see and to get them to shut up and sit still for an hour, lots of parents will simply shove candy and chocolate bars at their kids. This is bad for them and it will cost you money.
Rule 3 – Make A Grocery List Before You Head To The Store
Wandering around aimlessly thinking about what you may or may not need is a waste of time. If you can’t remember whether you need milk or cheese, you will end up with lots of groceries that you don’t need and forget the ones you do need. This is just going to mean another visit to the store which can be very frustrating.
Learning what to buy every time you go to the store is very important and is often harder than people think. First, you should always remember that fresh veggies and fruit should comprise the largest portion of your grocery list, especially since an adult should eat 7-10 servings of fruit and vegetables each day. For veggies, try to buy dark leafy green ones that have more vitamins and minerals than other types. Plus, these items are high in fibre and low in fat and calories.
Second, when buying grains and cereals, look for whole grains in bread and cereal. Skip the sugary cereals that your kids love and feed them whole grain cereals with no sugar added. Also, when you are buying pasta, you should also purchase whole grain pasta. Not only are whole grain high in fibre, but they are also high in vitamins and minerals.
Third, when choosing a protein source such as meat or soy or fish, you should try to buy products that are low in fat. If you don’t eat meat, choose eggs, tofu and legumes to supplement your diet. If you are a meat-eater and must have red meat, limit yourself to only a serving or two a month. Stock up on fresh fish and poultry instead and you will find that your diet has just become much healthier. Avoid ready-made fast food meals in the freezer department. They are high in sodium.
Fourth, when choosing dairy products, always pick products that are low in fat. Choose skim milk, low-fat yogurt with no sugar added, and skip the butter altogether.
Rule 4 – Skip The Empty Calories Altogether
People often end up drinking most of their daily allotment of calories. Get one fancy coffee from Starbucks and you may have just consumed 400 calories! Pop is the same way – it’s about 160 calories for a can of regular soda which is the equivalent to about 3 or 4 apples! When shopping for beverages, try to keep your purchases to a minimum. If you are buying juice, get real fruit juice that has no sugar added and that can add to your veggie and fruit intake for the day. Tea is also a good choice, particularly green tea.
Rule 5 – Skip The Worst Desserts
Everyone wants to buy some dessert or something sweet when they go to the grocery store. Instead of getting the fatty brownies in the baked good aisle, try to get a low fat frozen yogurt or ice cream treat. There’s a lot of variety of low-fat, low-calorie desserts available for those of you who just can’t give up your sweet tooth.
Rule 6 – Make Your Menu Ahead Of Time
This is a really great habit to get into. If you plan your meals for the week out ahead of time, then you know exactly what you need to buy at the store. Plus, you will end up saving money as you will know ahead of time what’s for dinner, thereby avoiding the urge to order a pizza.
Buying the right groceries in order to eat healthy is really quite simple. All it takes is a little planning and you will be an expert shopper in no time!