10 Ways To Choose Healthier Options While Grocery Shopping
Storing unhealthy foods at home will make you snack these too often. Here are some tips which can help you shop healthy and eat healthy.
Choose protein-rich snacks to fight hunger pangs
- Choose fresh vegetables over frozen and canned ones
- Always read labels before buying any packed eatable
- Highly processed foods are loaded with salt and sugar
It is often said that you should avoid buying unhealthy foods because not having junk food at home is the best way to avoid eating it. But how to ensure you don't buy junk and your grocery basket is filled with nutritious goodness? It helps you eat healthy if you focus on what you are buying. Choose good and balanced foods, and be cautious of package defects or how processed the food items are. If you are planning to make your diet healthier here are a few tips that can help making your grocery shopping healthy.
Here are a few tips for making safe food decisions when shopping
1. Make a list
The display in stores makes junk food look tempting. Plan your menus for the week before you go out for the ingredients. Make a list of grocery items needed, and then go shop.
2. Choose carefully
Often we tend to go for the low fat or low sugar, but most of the so-called low-fat items are high on sugar, and low sugar items are high in fat. This keeps their calories high, whereas even the label of 'healthy' or 'diet-snacks' is usually misleading. These often pack as many calories as the fried version. So check the label and pick options with low calories.
3. Buy leaner cuts of meat
White meats and seafood are the best but if looking for red meat; go for lean cuts.
4. Opt for poultry without skin
Chicken skin includes lots of calories and saturated fat. So, you can choose skinless chicken breasts.
5. Beware of the salt found in dried meats
Limit your consumption of salami, ham, bacon, smoked salmon, sausages, and chicken loaf.
6. Purchase fresh vegetables
Canned and pickled vegetables tend to have high added salt content. Frozen vegetables on the other hand can often preserve most nutrients. But it is best to eat fresh vegetables. Ensure that you eat enough fresh vegetables.
7. Check the date
Avoid the risk of eating unsafe perishable foods, particularly frozen or chilled items. A 'use-by' date signifies the day a good can be eaten, while the 'best of' day means the day the item will continue at its highest condition.
8. Keep the hot foods hot and the cold foods cold
Make sure high-risk foods (such as poultry, dairy products, and seafood) are kept out of the 'temperature threat zone' when moving food between the store and your house. Keep them under 5 degree celsius or over 60 degree celsius.
9. Look for food bargains
Bulk purchase ingredients for healthy meals at markets and supermarkets. With long shelf life, the non-perishable alternatives include dried tomatoes, beans, legumes, and dried pasta.
10. Limit takeaway and convenience foods
These are pricey, high in sugar, high in salt, and low in nutrients and leaving you hungry again after eating them for a few hours.
(Dt. Shikha Mahajan, Holistic Nutritionist and Founder of Diet Podium)
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