10 healthful tips for grocery shopping - photo: Prostock-Studio

10 healthful tips for grocery shopping!

10 healthful tips for grocery shopping - photo: Prostock-Studio
photo: Prostock-Studio
Morgan Cherry, registered dietitian at Best Within You Therapy & Wellness in Buckhead.
Morgan Cherry, registered dietitian at Best Within You Therapy & Wellness in Buckhead.

Making healthier choices at the grocery store means your fridge and pantry will be stocked with items that do a body good. Here, Morgan Cherry, registered dietitian at Best Within You Therapy & Wellness in Buckhead, offers advice on navigating your shopping experience, from paying attention to ingredients to how to work the room.

1. Come with a list to reduce the likelihood of purchasing items you don’t need or can’t make a meal out of. “Base the list off of what you want to meal prep this week and have those ingredients listed out,” Cherry says.

2. “Shop the perimeter.” This means prioritize the produce, meats and milk/dairy sections first, making those the majority of your grocery items. Then move into the aisles for packaged goods, suggests Cherry.

3. Focus on whole grain cereals. Sift through the wall of sugary cereals to look for a product that has “whole grain” listed at the beginning of the ingredient list or the Whole Grain Stamp on its packaging. “Whole grains provide vitamins, minerals and fiber, and help satisfy hunger for longer,” Cherry says.

4. Check out the ingredient lists. Cherry notes the first three ingredients listed are what the item primarily contains.

5. Look for fiber content. Find it on the nutrition facts on packaged goods, such as bread, oatmeal, rice and crackers. “It is recommended that we consume around 25 to 35 grams of fiber each day to regulate bowel movements, stabilize blood sugars and help with fullness and satiety during and after meals,” Cherry says. All vegetables and fruits will naturally offer fiber, too.

6. Don’t worry about fresh vs. frozen or canned produce. Just load up on your fruits and vegetables any which way! Frozen and canned options are a great way to avoid food waste later in the week after your grocery shop, Cherry advises. If choosing canned, healthier choices include those low in sodium and packaged in water instead of sugary syrup or oil.

7. Save money on regular items by opting to buy them in the larger containers, Cherry recommends. These include eggs, yogurts and packaged cheese. Likewise, she advocates for buying sale items. “You can always freeze meat, fresh fruit and veggies to use later on.”

8. Educate yourself on animal proteins. Look into brands’ farming and manufacturing practices. Also brush up on packaging terminology. For instance, “natural” doesn’t mean much, just that the poultry or meat was minimally processed without added color or artificial ingredients. The USDA Organic seal assures that the animals were raised in living conditions accommodating their natural behaviors, such as the ability to graze on pasture, fed 100% organic feed and forage (such as grass or hay) and not administered with antibiotics or hormones. “Grass-fed” means the animal ate only forage for the length of its life, but it doesn’t automatically mean it wasn’t treated with hormones or antibiotics. The Certified Humane label has to do with animal welfare standards from birth to slaughter.

9. Discover plant sources of protein. Meat doesn’t always have to be your main source. “Try adding in peanut butter, eggs, beans, lentils and tofu that are still high in protein and cheaper alternatives,” Cherry says.

10. Avoid purchasing foods with “guilt” language on the packaging, such as Trader Joe’s Reduced-Guilt Mac & Cheese, for your physical and mental well-being. “Guilt is not a food ingredient. Purchase the ones you enjoy and steer clear of the ones that might encourage shame,” Cherry says.




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