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How To Shop Healthy At A Grocery Store?

How To Shop Healthy At A Grocery Store?

Smart choices at the Grocery store are the key to a Good nutrition . If you don’t have the right ingredients in your kitchen, cooking healthy meals is going to be a challenge. But who has the time to check and read all the food labels and figure out which items are the best buys? Grocery shopping can be a hard task, simply because there are so many choices.
In addition, Markets perform a great public service, but keep in mind they are planned to get you buy more food, not less

Here is a little guidance to make healthy choices a simple task in any supermarket:

Plan Ahead for Success:The process needs to start before you head to the grocery store. Plan your meals for the week, and create a list to shop from. It takes a few minutes, but saves time in running back to the store for missing ingredients.
Never shop hungry: An empty belly can lead to impulse purchases that may not be the healthiest choice.
Follow the guidelines of my pyramid: When you’re planning your grocery list, follow the guidelines of My Pyramid which requires you to fill your cart with fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, lean meat, fish, poultry, nuts and beans.
Always choose Variety: Most of us eat the same foods over and over again. Variety is the spices of life so instead of having iceburg go for baby spinach or instead of white potatoes go for sweet potatoes, which are much richer in beta-carotene.
Be adventurous: Plan to try new fruits or vegetables

Here is a checklist for making healthy food choices at each department of the supermarket:

1.Spend most of your time in the first and the largest section which is the produce section and Choose colorful fruits and vegetables. The different colors represent the different vitamins and minerals content of each fruit or vegetable.
2.Pasta, Bread and cereals, go for the least processed foods that are made from whole grains and while choosing whole-grain foods, seek for at least 4 grams of fiber per serving, and the less sugar the better. Choose whole-wheat brown rice, bread and pastas, grain mixes, quinoa, barley, and bulgur.
3.In meat, Fish, and Poultry section choose lean cuts of meat, go for Salmon since it is very good source of omega 3 , opt for skinless poultry, and watch your portion sizes. The recommendations for fish are two servings per week.
4.Dairy Section, Dairy products are great source of calcium and vitamin D. There are no fat and low fat options that can help you get three servings a day. If you like cheeses that are high in fat, no problem just try to keep your portions small.
5.Frozen Foods. Frozen fruits and vegetables without sauce are a good way to help fill in the produce gap, especially in winter.
6.Dried and Canned Foods. Always keep canned fruits, vegetables, and beans on hand to toss into salads, soups, and rice or pasta dishes. Try to choose vegetables without added salt, fruit packed without sugary juices, Tuna packed in water, low sodium and fat soups, olive and canola oils and vinegar.

3 Simple Shopping Rules

•Shop the border of the grocery store, where fresh foods like vegetables, fruits, dairy, meat, and fish are usually located. Avoid the center where junk foods are located.
•Go for real foods, such as 100% fruit juice or 100% whole-grain items with as little processing and as few additives as possible. In case you want more sugar or salt, add it yourself.
•Avoid having foods that contain more than five ingredients, artificial ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Christelle Bedrossian
Beirut, Lebanon



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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian