Be a savvy supermarket shopper

January 18, 2018 by Julie Davis, Healthday Reporter

(HealthDay)—Depending on how you navigate the aisles, your local supermarket can be an obstacle course of temptations or a direct route to eating healthy.

Start by carefully writing a detailed before you go, the experts at Nutrition.gov suggest. Planning out meals in advance can keep you focused on essentials. That means less chance of browsing through packaged- sections and falling to temptation. Write out all the ingredients you need for home-cooked meals by food group to streamline your trip around the store.

In general, the healthiest foods are found around the perimeter of most markets. That's where you'll find low-fat dairy, lean meat and seafood, and fruits and vegetables—these should make up the core of your .

Then head to the grain aisle to look for whole grains, from whole-wheat pasta to brown rice and more unusual choices to try, like amaranth and spelt. Add a few varieties of dried beans or low- or no-sodium-added canned varieties to your cart.

Resist the urge to go down aisles filled with foods you're trying to avoid—sodas, candy and snacks. In general, minimize the amount of packaged foods you buy. But when you do need an item like crackers or breakfast cereal, always compare labels and choose the one with the least sugar, fat and salt.

If your store has a bakery, look for whole-grain breads or rolls. If you haven't made the switch yet from processed white breads, buying freshly made whole-grain baked goods can make the transition easier. But breeze right past the cakes and cookies.

End your trip in the frozen food section if you're shopping for fruits and vegetables that are out of season. Again, look for brands without added ingredients, especially sugar and salt.

It's OK to make grocery shopping fun. Visit farmers' markets for fresh produce and specialty stores for locally made goods. But don't forget to read the labels there, too. That delicious farm-made jelly could be loaded with unwanted sugar.

Explore further: Tips to grocery shop like a cardiologist

More information: The American Heart Association has a detailed online grocery guide called Simple Cooking With Heart that's loaded with tips for healthy shopping.

Related Stories

Tips to grocery shop like a cardiologist

January 18, 2017
Many of us vowed to eat more healthfully in the new year but don't know how to begin. Here are some grocery store guidelines to reduce the amount of dietary fat, sugar and salt that is associated with a higher risk for obesity, ...

Heart-healthy tips for your grocery list

February 9, 2017
(HealthDay)—A healthy heart begins with what you eat, and one way to shop for groceries wisely is to start with a list, a cardiologist recommends.

A pantry makeover for a healthier diet

November 27, 2017
(HealthDay)—You know about buying no- and low-fat dairy and lean cuts of meat. But your pantry might also need a makeover to help you get the most nutrients from your foods and stick with a healthy diet plan.

Five smart alternatives to processed foods

November 8, 2017
(HealthDay)—Is your shopping cart filled with heavily processed foods? Some might seem to be time-savers, yet cost more than fresh foods and offer few nutrients. Others might actually harm your health.

New wholegrain labelling system helps consumers choose healthy breakfast options

January 11, 2018
University of Hertfordshire researchers have been trialing a new approach to help the public easily identify which wholegrain foods are healthiest.

Recommended for you

A low-gluten, high-fiber diet may be healthier than gluten-free

November 16, 2018
When healthy people eat a low-gluten and fibre-rich diet compared with a high-gluten diet, they experience less intestinal discomfort including less bloating. Researchers at University of Copenhagen show that this is due ...

Dietary fat is good? Dietary fat is bad? Coming to consensus

November 15, 2018
Which is better, a low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet or a high-fat/low-carbohydrate diet—or is it the type of fat that matters? In a new paper featured on the cover of Science magazine's special issue on nutrition, researchers ...

Why we shouldn't like coffee, but we do

November 15, 2018
Why do we like the bitter taste of coffee? Bitterness evolved as a natural warning system to protect the body from harmful substances. By evolutionary logic, we should want to spit it out.

Colder, darker climates increase alcohol consumption and liver disease

November 14, 2018
Where you live could influence how much you drink. According to new research from the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, people living in colder regions with less sunlight drink more alcohol than their ...

Survey reveals how we use music as a possible sleep aid

November 14, 2018
Many individuals use music in the hope that it fights sleep difficulties, according to a study published November 14 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Tabitha Trahan of the University of Sheffield, UK, and colleagues. ...

Want to cut down on your meds? Your pharmacist can help.

November 14, 2018
Pharmacists are pivotal in the process of deprescribing risky medications in seniors, leading many to stop taking unnecessary sleeping pills, anti-inflammatories and other drugs, a new Canadian study has found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.