Do you find yourself getting overwhelmed at the supermarket? Confusing food labels? Which brand is better for me? You are not alone! Follow these steps to help you get through your next visit to your supermarket.
Going to the supermarket, requires a plan!
1. Do not go to the supermarket hungry! Make sure you eat a well-balanced meal or snack to avoid impulse snacking. Avoid opening up that bag of chips or chocolate bar while browsing down the aisles..
2.Go to the market with a plan. Prepare a shopping list. Try to plan a week’s worth of meals in order to avoid going back to the market for a second time. This will save you time, as well as purchases you did not intend on making. Make your list the old fashioned way with paper and pen or write it in the “note” section on your smart phone (this way you won’t forget your list at home)!
3. Focus shopping around the perimeter of the store. The produce section is first, followed by the deli/appetizing, meat and fish aisle and lastly is the dairy aisle. These are the foods that should make up most of your daily food intake.
4. Avoid soft drinks and sugary juices. Don’t drink your calories! (unless it is a protein shake)!
Choose water and or sugar free flavored waters or why not add real fruit to flavor your water.
5. Read the Label!
Check the serving size. How many portions make up the bag, container or box?
Avoid fat free products, which usually have more sugar in place of the fat.
Beware Of Hidden Sources of Sugar: Sugar can be from maple syrup, honey, cane juice, corn syrup, fructose or dextrose as well as others.
6. Choose whole grains. The first ingredient in bread should be 100% whole wheat or whole grain wheat.
So many cereals..Which one should is better? Aim for 100-200 calories per serving, at least 2 or more grams of protein, at least 3 grams of dietary fiber, less than 3 grams of fat and zero trans fat, less than 8 grams of sugar and between 10-25% of the daily value for key vitamins and minerals.
7. Pick from a wide selection of fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables. Avoid canned vegetables that contain large amounts of salt. Canned fruit packed in water or it’s own juice is a better choice than brands packed in sugar.
8.Choose raw or unsalted nuts for a healthy snack. Avoid nuts covered in salt.
9.Limit frozen prepared foods. Frozen meals can be loaded with sodium (salt). Excessive sodium intake has been linked to high blood pressure or hypertension in some people. Try and choose foods with 140mg of sodium or less but no more than 300mg per serving.
10. Beware of marketing! It is the job of advertising to entice you with bright colors and fancy packaging! The store brand may have double the protein and fiber and half the fat and sodium than the fancy name brand and may be half the price! So, check those labels!
11. Avoid those aisles that have items you can not resist… You know the ones that you can not just window shop! Stick to your list and your meal plan!
12.Avoid the last minute temptations at the beginning and end of those check out lines! Marketing strategies last attempt to change your mind! Stay strong and avoid the temptation!
13. Keep your food safe. Remember to get the perishable foods (meat and dairy) last on your trip around the store. Go straight home and refrigerate and freeze these purchases as soon as possible.
Happy and Healthy Food Shopping!!!!