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Healthy eating starts with choosing the right ingredients-it’s way easier to make a nutritious meal if your kitchen is already stocked with amazing seasonal produce, affordable proteins, and healthy whole grains. But when you’re grocery shopping it’s pretty easy to get distracted by convenient frozen meals and delicious looking pre-packaged sweets. Especially when a mountain of chocolate bars and candy is waiting for you at the checkout line.
Eating healthy means something different to everyone, and it doesn’t have to mean you can’t enjoy indulgent snacks and desserts. But if you’re looking to lose weight or make better diet choices, you might want to have a few healthy food shopping tricks up your sleeve for when you head to the grocery store. Registered dietitians shared eight excellent tips that will help optimize all your shopping trips from now on. Turns out, it’s pretty easy to fill your cart with the best and brightest ingredients if you know exactly what you’re looking for and just where to find it.
1. Always make a shopping list.
Going to the store with a plan is key, explains Emily Cope-Kyle, M.S., R.D.. This will help keep you from buying things you don’t need or want, especially if you’re perusing aisles with pre-packaged and processed foods. Using a list as your guide will help save you time AND money.
2. And navigate aisles like a pro.
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By now you probably know exactly where your local grocery store keeps the sweets. If you’re watching your sugar intake, or you’re prone to impulse buys, Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition, suggests steering clear of these sections while shopping. “I have a huge sweet tooth so I try and walk past the bakery and candy section,” she says. As the saying (sort of) goes, out of sight, out of stomach. Many experts recommend shopping only the perimeter of the store as that’s where the freshest food tends to be displayed. And when you’re ready to kick things up a notch, try organizing your grocery list by where the foods are located in the store. Efficient and healthy-it’s a win-win.
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