Do you feel overwhelmed when you think about going to the grocery store? All the sales, the buy-one get-one free items seem so appealing, but are you buying the healthiest items?
The best advice to give about doing your grocery shopping is to shop the perimeter. Focus on the outside area of the store… that’s where the healthiest, most nutritious choices are. I’ll use Publix’s layout as my example, actually I’m a huge fan of Publix supermarkets. Depending on the side you enter, first items to come across are the nutritional supplements, i.e. protein/energy bars. These items are fine depending on what you are trying to accomplish nutritionally, but ultimately are ways to spend money fast… they’re so expensive!
Heading straight and rounding the corner, you come across the dairy selection. Ideal choices here are low-fat or fat-free options. If you keep walking, you approach the eggs and pre-sliced deli meats. If you enjoy eggs I say get them, but I suggest using caution with the pre-sliced meats. Those meats are full of nitrate preservatives that are not that great for your body.
Continue walking the perimeter and you approach the meat area. Select items you enjoy cooking, but I recommend limiting the amount of red meat you consume and try to eat more lean sources, such as chicken, turkey, and fish. For heart benefits, it is recommended eating a “fatty fish” two times per week (examples include: mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon).
The next items are the powerhouse, most nutritious items… fresh fruits and vegetables. These items are amazing and packed with wonderful nutrients that work wonders in your body. Buy a variety of fruits and vegetables in order to receive the vast array of natural vitamins and minerals, especially this time of year because these items are a lot cheaper then in the winter.
If you notice I haven’t talked about the items, what seems like endless aisles, in the middle of the store. That’s because this is where all of the processed, preservative-filled foods hang out. I recommend that you avoid even going down these aisles, which will help reduce temptations to eat these foods. If you don’t buy them, you won’t consume them. Buying canned items are OK, however, be aware that most are sodium-filled, which once again is not the best for your body and health. If you purchase frozen items, the best are the fruits and vegetables, but try to avoid the ones in sauces (sauces add extra fat and calories).
You should enjoy grocery shopping and not dread it. Make a list, stick to it, and remember to shop the perimeter!