5 tips for buying healthy groceries

Grocery shopping can be tricky, so if you're looking to create a healthy diet for you and your family, take the following tips to heart.

5 tips for buying healthy groceries

1. Plan ahead of time

Planning ahead is beneficial for many reasons.

  • First off, by planning your meals for the next week, you know exactly what ingredients to go for at the grocery store.
  • You can avoid stepping into the grocery store or supermarket with nothing to guide you.
  • You can construct a shopping list influenced by a healthy plan, as opposed to loading your cart with a series of impulse purchases.
  • If you don't have a solid dietary arrangement in the back of your head, and you're letting hunger guide you, you won't be able to get your eyes off that chocolate cake.

2. Buy from the produce section

The produce section is usually the first you'll encounter on a trip to the store or supermarket. It's where all the fresh fruit and vegetables are stacked. It is also often the one most avoided.

  • One of the most important tips for shopping healthy is to load your trolley with a wide variety of different produce, from bell peppers to cauliflower.
  • Another hint is to vary the colours as much as possible — the reds, yellows and greens are a great way to identify the different vitamin and mineral content of each type of vegetable.
  • You'll be amazed at the variety of options this section can offer your diet.

3. Remember to shop whole grain

  • Anything whole grain is the better option for a healthy and tasty diet.
  • When you're grocery shopping, look out for anything that clearly states "whole grain" on the package.
  • Opt for brown rice, which beats white rice in terms of nutritional value.
  • Select whole-wheat breads, pastas and whole-grain cereals.
  • Whole-grain cereals can function as a vehicle for beneficial dairy products like yogurt and low-fat milk.

4. Stock up on canned and dried foods

  • Fill your trolley with canned and dried beans, soups and vegetables.
  • These products can last months, even years.
  • On top of this, they make for a healthy and convenient addition to pastas, salads and rice dishes.

When selecting these products, it's important that you remember a few things:

  • Check the salt content and opt for low-salt vegetables.
  • Choose low-fat soups and avoid the popular "cream of" variety. It tastes good but it's not nearly as healthy as the broth-based stuff.

5. Go for fish and poultry

  • When hitting the meat and fish section, try to pull yourself away from the red meats.
  • A truly healthy protein-based diet is rich in fish and poultry.
  • Why not opt for salmon? It's an affordable alternative to some of the pricier fish varieties and offers good doses of omega-3 and plenty of protein.
  • When shopping for poultry, focus on the skinless products.
  • If you absolutely must include red meat, make it a lean cut.

The basics

By sticking to these five supermarket commandments, you'll set the foundations for a balanced and healthy diet including whole grains, lots of fruit and veg and plenty of low-fat dairy.

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