Grocery shopping can be challenging, especially if you're looking to fill your cart with healthy food. Nowadays, many of the items in grocery stores are processed and packaged, meaning they have been stripped of their nutrients. This can be discouraging when you're trying to live the healthy life.  However, these tips and tricks will come in handy when you just don't know what food to buy.

1. Don't Go to the Grocery Store Hungry

walnut, meat, almond, nut
Torey Walsh

This is more of a preventative measure than an in-store tip. It may seem tempting to go grocery shopping when you're hungry and buy something impulsively, but this can be a dangerous move. We are more likely to make purchases when we're hungry, and this includes junk food. Suddenly a pint of ice cream and a party size bag of chips seems like the perfect meal. So to avoid the hanger and regrets, have a healthy snack before grocery shopping, like whole grains or something with protein.

2. Bring a Shopping List

Parsa Lotfi

In order to avoid spending more time and money at the grocery store, it's wise to make a list beforehand to maximize efficiency when shopping. If you want to be super organized, you can write down the items in the order they appear in the store. It would also be helpful to plan out your meals for the week and include all of the ingredients you'll need on the list. This way you'll be less tempted to buy a boatload of unhealthy snacks. 

3. Stick to the Perimeter of the Store

vegetable, peach, apple
Cherie Mak

By now you may have noticed that the layout of most grocery stores tends to be very similar: the fresh foods such as produce, meat and dairy are kept in the perimeter of the grocery store, whereas the packaged foods are in the center aisles. Because of this, it is advised that people shop the outside of the store and skip the middle whenever possible. We all know how tempting those chips and cookies can be, so spare yourself the heartache and avoid them completely.

4. Buy Foods With Ingredients You Can Pronounce

carrot, pasture, vegetable
Christin Urso

It may be hard for you to stick to tip #3, we all cave sometimes. So let's say you find yourself in the middle of the grocery store among the packaged foods, and you're trying to find something healthy. One strategy is to read the ingredients and make sure you can pronounce them. If a product contains a laundry list of chemicals and preservatives, it may not be the best for you. It's generally a good idea to stick to natural foods with a few simple ingredients. As the author Michael Pollan once said, "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."

5. Get One New Healthy Food on Each Shopping Trip

sweet, bilberry, berry, blueberry
Jocelyn Hsu

Instead of viewing grocery shopping as a weekly chore, have some fun with it and allow yourself to try one new healthy food each time. The next time you go to the store, pick up a fruit or vegetable that you've never tried before. Who knows, you may fall in love and incorporate it into your everyday diet. This will make shopping for food a bit more exciting and may even get you hype for your next trip to the grocery store.