Tricks of the (Grocery) Trade

Author: Shannon Miller

Do you ever feel like there might be a more strategic way of navigating through your local grocery store?

Even more important, do you feel like you can stock your kitchen with healthier items?  We could all use a little help revamping our pantry to make it a touch healthier.

These tips are sure to help you have a more successful, healthy trip to the grocery store:

  • Shop the perimeter of the store. Save the isles for last! By shopping the perimeter of the store first, you’ll be sure to pick up your fresh and nutritious items: fruits and vegetables (produce department); fish and other meats like chicken, beef, and pork (meat department).
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover! In grocery lingo, this means expensive is not always better. Read the labels and check out that nutrition content for yourself.
  • Make a list and stick to it. If you bring a list with you, you’re more likely to get what you need.  On the same note, don’t shop while you are hungry.  Shopping on an empty stomach makes it easier to buy more than you need and might also make it easier to buy junk food that you otherwise would have the willpower to avoid!

Now that you know how to get around in the store, here are some good, nutritious items to buy.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, some low fat, low calorie items we may want to keep in stock are:

  • Fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese
  • Whole wheat sandwich breads, bagels, pita bread, and English muffins
  • Rice and pasta
  • White meat chicken or turkey (skin removed)
  • Beef: round, sirloin, chuck, arm, loin, and extra-lean ground beef
  • Fruits: fresh, frozen, or canned in light syrup or juice
  • Vegetables: fresh, frozen, or no-salt canned
TIP:  Challenge yourself this week to make your trip to the grocery store a healthy and efficient one!
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