Grab the good stuff on your next grocery run

Friday, August 25, 2023

You make important choices in grocery store aisles—choices that can affect your energy levels and your health. So it's wise to have a game plan for how to fill your cart. These tips can help you.

Make a list. Pick a day on the weekend to plan meals for the week. Check your fridge and pantry to identify ingredients you need for meals and snacks.

Shop the perimeter first. The outer aisles of grocery stores contain some of the most nutritious choices, like fresh produce.

Pump up the produce. Speaking of produce, fill your cart with fruits and vegetables. Choose different colors for different nutrients. Think juicy red and green apples; crunchy, orange carrots; crisp, dark lettuce; and tender, tasty zucchini. Look for in-season produce, which is usually tastier and more affordable. And remember: Canned or frozen produce is also nutritious if you choose brands with the least sodium and sugar.

Go lean with protein. Choose lean or extra lean meats, loin or round cuts, skinless poultry, and plant proteins such as beans and peanut butter.

Reel in the benefits of fish. Here's an exception to the lean-protein rule: fatty fish, like salmon, which have heart-healthy omega-3 fatty oils.

Cut the dairy fat. Do you usually buy whole-fat dairy products? Try low-fat or fat-free versions.

Grab some whole grains. For example, look for 100% whole-wheat instead of white sandwich bread, whole-wheat tortillas and pasta, and brown rice instead of white. To verify a product is truly whole grain, make sure a whole grain is the first listed ingredient.

Stock up on healthy snacks. Fresh fruit or cut-up veggies (with hummus for dipping) can make for healthy snacks. The same goes for apple sauce, trail mix and low-fat string cheese.

More eat-right advice

If you want to learn more ways to make healthier choices when you shop, schedule an appointment with a Watson Clinic Family Medicine or Internal Medicine provider at 863-680-7190.

Sources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; American Heart Association; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; International Food Information Council; U.S. Food and Drug Administration


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