February 23, 2011

Pound for Pound Tip #7: Healthy Eating Begins at the Supermarket

Author: Maria Conley, RD, LD/N

Pound for Pound Tip #7: Healthy Eating Begins at the SupermarketHow often do you go shopping? Do you have a shopping list? I thought I would leave you with some shopping tips for your next grocery store adventure. Be sure to share them with whoever does the grocery shopping in your household.

Below are 7 tips to help you become a healthier shopper – pick 1 or 2 that you’re able to work on this week.

Healthy Eating Begins at the Supermarket
from Stealth Health

The typical American consumer hits the grocery store at least twice a week. Why, then, does it feel like we never have anything to eat at home? Follow the advice below to make sure you not only have a well-stocked pantry for healthful eating, but are buying the right products at the right time in the right way.

1. Rule number one: Buy fresh food! If more than half your groceries are prepared foods, then you need to evolve your cooking and eating habits back to the healthy side by picking up more fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood, juices, and dairy.

2. Choose prepared foods with short ingredient lists. We don’t expect you to cut out prepared foods entirely. Just remember: The shorter the ingredient list, the healthier the food usually is. Of course, if the ingredients are sugar and butter, put the item back on the shelf.

3. Shop the perimeter of the store. The less you find yourself in the central aisles of the grocery store, the healthier your shopping trip will be. Make it a habit — work the perimeter of the store for the bulk of your groceries, then dip into the aisles for staples that you know you need.

4. Shop with a list. Organize your shopping list based on the sections of the store. This will have you out of the supermarket at the speed of light. If you’re a woman, consider getting your husband or son to do the food shopping, says Joan Salge Blake, R.D., clinical assistant professor of nutrition at Boston University’s Sargent College. The latest survey from the Food Marketing Institute shows that compared to women, men are more likely to buy only what’s on the grocery list. But shopping with a list has benefits beyond speed and spending. By lashing yourself to the discipline of a well-planned shopping list, you can resist the seductive call of aisle upon aisle of junk food, thereby saving your home, your family, and yourself from an overload of empty calories.

5. Food-shop with a full stomach. We’re sure you’ve heard this one before, but it’s worth repeating. Walking through the grocery store with your tummy growling can make you vulnerable to buying anything that isn’t moving, says Blake. If you can’t arrange to shop shortly after a meal, be sure to eat an apple and drink a large glass of water before heading into the store.

6. Buy in season. Sure, it’s tempting to buy strawberries in December, and once in a while that’s fine. But fresh fruit and vegetables are best when purchased in season, meaning they’ve come from relatively close to home. They often cost less, are tastier, and have less risk of pathogens such as E. coli.

7. Buy frozen. Frozen fruits and vegetables are often flash frozen at the source, locking in nutrients in a way fresh or canned can’t compete with. Stock your freezer with bags of frozen vegetables and fruits. You can toss the veggies into soups and stews, microwave them for a side dish with dinners, or thaw them at room temperature and dip them into low-fat salad dressing for snacks. Use the fruits for desserts, smoothies, and as ice cream and yogurt toppings.

More tips and more can be found at: http://www.rd.com/health/healthy-eating-begins-at-the-supermarket/

Maria Ali, RD, LD/N
Nutrition Manager



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