Grocery shop like a nutritionist to support your health, nutrition, and weight loss goals.
Healthy food choices at home start with healthy food choices at the market.
With thousands of food items to choose from grocery shopping can be challenging. Although it’s nice to dine out, eating at home can greatly benefit your body and budget.
10 Tips to Grocery Shop Like a Nutritionist
How does a Holistic Nutritionist tackle the grocery store? Start with these 10 tips for the ultimate healthy eating game plan.
1. Make a List
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Be prepared by making a list of items needed ahead of time. A game plan makes it easier to eat well, prevents you from stocking the cart with junk food and keeps you within budget!
2. Eat Before You Go
Grab some snacks before you head to the store. Hungry shoppers usually buy more food and make poorer choices. Eat before shopping to keep from buying every “drool-worthy” item around.
3. Include Helpers
Ask others for help grocery shopping. Teaching your family to eat more nutritious foods starts with involving them when shopping. Encourage them to read labels, add food to the cart, and find ingredients on your list. Being included in the process can help your family develop more awareness of nutrition. It also gets them excited to eat healthier!
4. Read Labels
Focus on the ingredients listed. Less is best! Look for whole foods, low in sugar (less than 5 grams per serving), with minimal ingredients. Avoid any products with the words low-fat, non-fat, low-calorie or diet.
5. Shop The Perimeter
Steer clear of the processed foods in the middle of the store. Although the clever packaging on processed products can make them seem like “health foods,” they’re not. Your body will benefit if you stick with the single ingredient foods along the perimeter of the store.
6. Check For Freshness
Always check the expiration date. Reach for foods in the back of the pile or shelf. Grab the coldest product items. These are the new, fresh items. This can save money from having to head back to the store soon because the stuff you bought was expired. In addition, this can also save time by saving you trips to the store.
7. Buy In Bulk
Stock up or buy in bulk. Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables so you always have something healthy at home. You can also buy your staple and dried ingredients in bulk. This will help you stick to the perimeter during the rest of your shopping trips.
8. Make It Easy
Grocery shop online with Amazon Fresh, Thrive Market, US Wellness Meats, Butcher Box and Instacart. Get help planning meals with Real Plans meal plan subscription. Meal delivery services can also help make eating easy effortless.
9. Drink More Water
Drink more water and other optimal hydration options, such as lemon water, lime water, celery juice, cucumber juice, and coconut water. Soft drinks, sports drinks, sweetened teas, caffeinated concoctions, low-fat milk and many alcohol beverages are unhealthy options. They contain shocking amounts of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other hazardous ingredients. Ditch the sugar and save money by sticking with water as your main beverage.
10. Just Say No to GMOs
Pass on genetically modified foods. Opt for organic, GMO-free foods when available. Avoid the following high-risk genetically modified crops: alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, soy, sugar beets, zucchini, and yellow summer squash.
Grocery Shopping – How to Navigate Sections
Produce: local, organic
Nuts & seeds: organic, unsalted
Animal products: local, organic, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, pasture-raised, grass-fed, or free-range
Fish & Seafood: wild, low in mercury
Grains: gluten-free, minimally processed
Organic or Non-Organic
For produce items, read their PLU stickers. Choose organic foods with 5 numbers on the label and start with 9, such as 92345. Avoid GMO foods that start with 8, such as 82345
Dirty Dozen foods to avoid:
Apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, sweet bell pepper, potato, blueberries, lettuce, kale, and collards.
Clean 15 safe foods:
Onions, sweet corn, pineapple, avocado, asparagus, sweet peas, mangoes, eggplant, cantaloupe, kiwi, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, and mushrooms.