It’s no secret that the majority of the food in our modern grocery stores are highly processed and less than ideal for our health. But, unless you grow 100% of your own food or always have access to a Farmer’s Market, sometimes you have no other choice but to hit the grocery store. So, here are some tips to make healthy choices while you are there:
1. Focus on produce. Fruits and veggies should make up most of what you purchase at any store, your cart should always be 80-90% veggies.
2. Choose organic. Select a store that has a lot of organic options or try to pick most of your produce from the organic section. If you can’t afford to buy all organic, check out the EWG’s list of the foods that contain the most pesticides, referred to as the “dirty dozen”.
3. Visit the aisles for select items. Not all the items in the aisles are unhealthy, but don’t walk up and down each aisle or you may get tempted by all the colorful packaging. Instead, hit the aisles where you know you need specific things like dried beans or other whole grains.
4. Avoid sweetened beverages, including bottled juices. Most of the sweetened beverages available are just liquid sugar providing very little nutrition. Avoid these sections all together.
5. Stay away from “trigger” items at the cashier stand. There is a reason why the candy bars, chips, or other junk food is located near the cashier stand. The store knows you are standing there for a period of time, waiting to check out, and may be tempted to buy something. Consider turning your attention to a magazine or just practice a two minute meditation in line instead.