When I was a kid, the grocery store meant getting to sit in the cart and keep my eyes peeled for my favorite snacks while my saint of a mother lugged me and my 3 siblings around the madhouse. Once I started driving, my mom would occasionally send me and my little sister to the grocery store to pick up a few things, but we would somehow always get lost and end up spending an hour there to find 4 things. Living on my own now, I’ve taken the initiative to figure out what is healthy and what isn’t, along with where I should be looking. Here are a few tips and tricks to successfully go healthy grocery shopping and stock up your refrigerator:
1. The fewer ingredients, the better: Attempt to stay away from anything that has a surplus amount of ingredients, font that is hard to read and stuff that is going to take five minutes to scan each component. More than likely, the majority of those ingredients are unhealthy preservatives, fillers or flavor enhancers. Less is more.
2. Organic, organic, O-R-G-A-N-I-C: When it comes to being healthy, you can almost never go wrong with organic products. Antioxidants (the good stuff) are higher and pesticides (the bad stuff) are lower in all organic food. It may cost a little extra, but can you really put a price on your health?
3. 100 calories… for only one bite? Beware of the serving size of any product. Sure, when you glance at a candy bar it says 100 calories, but is there 4 servings in one bar so you’re actually eating 400 calories? Don’t let ‘em fool you. Whip out that iPhone calculator and check the realistic calorie intake before purchasing food.
4. The perimeter = the good stuff: Notice how practically every grocery store’s perimeters are the main food groups; grains, fruits and veggies, meats and dairy. There’s a reason they’re set up that way. Try to steer clear of the aisles and stay focused on the fresh products on the edge. Your body will love you for it.
5. Dairy in small doses: Cheese and dairy products are one of those sneaky, healthy-but-not-healthy foods that often times trick you. Cheese is good to have in your diet but don’t eat a whole block. Yogurt is also a great option but opt for the less sugary kind and instead grab a more natural kind, like Greek yogurt.