Grocery shop like a nutritionist to support your health, nutrition, and weight loss goals.
Healthy food choices at home start with healthy choices at the market. With thousands of 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
For years, I worked as a Grocery and Local Food Guide. I took countless clients to Farmer’s Markets and grocery stores to show them how to shop like I did. So 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. Grocery shopping without a list often leads to buying less healthy items and spending more money on things you don’t need. 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
This healthy eating tip is especially important so you don’t get “hangry” while grocery shopping like a nutritionist. Grab some snacks before you head to the store. Hungry shoppers usually buy more food and make poorer choices. Eat before grocery shopping to keep from buying every “drool-worthy” item around.
Grocery Tips for Healthy Eating
3. Include Helpers
Ask others for help grocery shopping. Teaching your family to enjoy 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! This is a great way to teach your kids the importance of healthy eating so they can benefit for the rest of their life.
4. Read Labels
This is one of the most important tips to grocery shopping like a nutritionist! Read labels and focus on the ingredients listed. Less is best! Look for whole ingredients, 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. Lastly, you can ask yourself, “Would my nutritionist eat this?” That should be a good indicator if you should add it to your cart or pass on it.
5. Shop The Perimeter
This tip makes it much easier to grocery shop like a nutritionist and stock your cart with healthy foods. 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
A great way to enjoy fresh food and save money is to always check the expiration date. Reach for items in the back of the pile or shelf and grab the coldest items. These are the newest, freshest 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.
Have Healthy Food on Hand
7. Buy In Bulk
Want to make it super easy to always have healthy food on hand? 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 dry ingredients in bulk to help you stick to the perimeter during the rest of your shopping trips.
8. Make It Easy
Who doesn’t like a little extra grocery shopping help? Make it easy to eat healthy by grocery shopping online. Use Amazon Fresh, Thrive Market, US Wellness Meats, Butcher Box, and Instacart. Want to make life even easier? Get help planning meals with Real Plans meal plan subscription. Meal delivery services make healthy eating easy effortless and enjoyable.
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 alcoholic 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.
Buy Quality Foods
10. Say No to GMOs
Nutritionists say no to GMOs and so should you. Pass on non-organic and genetically modified foods as much as possible. Opt for organic, GMO-free when available. The better the quality, the better it will be for your body. Avoid the following high-risk genetically modified crops: alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, soy, sugar beets, zucchini, and yellow summer squash.
Grocery Shopping Like a Nutritionist – Navigate Sections
Produce: local, organic
Nuts & seeds: organic, unsalted
Animal products: organic, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, pasture-raised, or free-range
Fish & Seafood: wild, low in mercury
Grains: gluten-free, minimally processed
Organic or Non-Organic
For produce items, like vegetables and fruits, read their PLU stickers. Choose organic foods with 5 numbers on the label and start with 9, such as 92345. Avoid GMOs 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.