6 Tips for Smarter, Healthier Grocery Shopping

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2015 is officially off and running, and with that so are many of our New Year’s resolutions for the year. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or just get healthy, the first step towards meeting those goals begins in the grocery store. Grocery shopping can be a dietary minefield - with aisles of temptations that seem difficult to avoid, what are some smart ways to make the most of your shopping trip? All you need are a few health tips to keep you on track.

To help keep us on track, we are sharing Marci Clow’s 6 tips for smarter, healthier grocery shopping, a leading dietician and senior nutritionist at Rainbow Light. With over 15 years of experience in the field, Marci has created this list of simple, yet effective, tips that will keep you from making harmful hunger-driven choices on the grocery store – keeping your cart filled with items to keep you and your family healthy!

 6 Tips for Smarter, Healthier Grocery Shopping

  1. Healthy choices start at home, so plan ahead by making a list. This way you will get exactly what you need and lessen risk of random purchases that you don’t need. Planning ahead will also save you time and money!
  2. Many nutritionists suggest shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, with the thought being that this is where fresher and less processed foods are found. This is true, but there certainly are healthy foods that can be found in the center aisles too, think canned beans, grains, frozen fruit etc.
  3. Fill your cart like you should fill your plate, 50% fruits & veggies, the rest protein and grains. See: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/about.html
  4. Make a point to try and incorporate foods that are fresh and in season and perhaps that you have not tried before, most people tend to eat the same foods over and over again but the wider the variety the wider the array of nutrients. Have household members make suggestions for the shopping list, kids (and grown-ups) are generally more willing to try new foods when they help to pick them.
  5. Don’t shop hungry! This practice often results in unhealthy impulse purchases.
  6. Choose "real" foods, with as little processing and as few additives as possible. Try not to choose foods that contain a long list of ingredients, artificial ingredients, or ingredients you might not be able to pronounce.
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