Smart grocery shopping is one of the most important parts of living a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few tips to get you on the way to good health:
1. Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. If you’re hungry in the store, you’ll be more likely to buy unhealthy snacks and foods that you don’t need.
2. Read and compare food labels. Choose foods with fewer calories that are lower in trans fats, sodium (salt) and added sugars. Check the serving size and the number of servings. Food labels are based on one serving, but many packages have more than one. When you compare calories and nutrients between brands, check to see if the serving size is the same.
3. Focus on fruits and vegetables. Buy less fruit juice and instead choose a variety of fresh, frozen, and canned fruits. Avoid canned fruits with added sugar or syrup. Choose different colored vegetables, such as leafy dark greens (spinach, kale and broccoli), tomatoes, carrots and squash. If buying frozen or canned, choose vegetables without added salt, butter or sauces.
4. Look for calcium-rich foods. If you can’t drink milk, choose lactose-free milk; or, try calcium-rich leafy green vegetables such as kale or collard greens.
5. Choose whole grain foods. Look for whole wheat bread, crackers and pasta; whole grain cereals; brown rice; oatmeal; and barley.
6. Go lean with protein. Choose lean meats, and remove chicken and poultry skin before cooking. Vary your protein choices with fish, nuts, seeds, beans and peas.