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Grocery Shop Like a Nutritionist

healthy grocery shopping

Are you ready to grocery shop like a nutritionist to support your health, nutrition, and weight loss goals?

Healthy food choices at home start with healthy options 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. So how does a Holistic Nutritionist tackle the grocery store? Start with these 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 fewer healthy items and spending more money on things you don’t need. Be prepared by making a list of items 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

Eating before shopping is essential, 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 purchasing every “drool-worthy” item.

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. Feeling included in the process helps 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 long-term.

4. Read Labels

Reading labels is one of the most important tips for 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 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 add it to your cart or pass on it.

5. Shop The Perimeter

Shopping the perimeter of the store 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 makes them seem like “health foods,” they’re not. Your body will benefit if you stick with the single ingredient foods along the store’s perimeter.

6. Check For Freshness

A great way to enjoy fresh food AND save money is always to check the expiration date. Reach for the freshest and coldest items in the back of the pile or shelf, as this tip can save money, time, and 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

Hydrate with lemon water, lime water, celery juice, cucumber juice, and coconut water. Avoid unhealthy options like sodas, sports drinks, sweetened teas, caffeinated concoctions, low-fat milk, and alcoholic beverages. Those processed beverages often contain shocking amounts of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other hazardous ingredients. Ditch the sugar and save money by sticking with water as your primary 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 high-risk genetically modified crops: alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, soy, sugar beets, zucchini, and yellow summer squash.

Navigate Grocery Sections Like a Nutritionist

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, like veggies and fruits, read the PLU stickers. Choose organic foods with 5 numbers on the label that start with 9, such as 92345. Avoid GMOs that begin with 8, such as 82345

Dirty Dozen foods to avoid include Apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, sweet bell pepper, potato, blueberries, lettuce, kale, and collards.

Clean 15 safe foods include onions, sweet corn, pineapple, avocado, asparagus, sweet peas, mangoes, eggplant, cantaloupe, kiwi, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, and mushrooms.

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