5 tips for a healthier grocery store

Grocery shopping isn’t rocket science, but resisting the temptation by browsing the supermarket shelves is a bit trickier. Learn how to escape it and buy healthy foods for yourself and your family by following these few easy tips.

5 tips for a healthier grocery store

1. Do your grocery shopping only on the outskirts of the supermarket

  • If you limit your travel to the outskirts of the supermarket, where healthier foods such as fruits, bread, and vegetables are usually found, you’ll be less likely to add unhealthy foods to your shopping cart.
  • Venture only to the shelves to get commodities such as oil, sugar, flour, and spices. You will save a lot of money as well, especially if you stick to seasonal fruits and vegetables and special meats.

2. Take bags of pre-washed vegetables

  • While it may cost you more, cleaned and bagged veggies are the best things to have stepped into supermarkets since microbrewery beers. Many consumer studies claim that we are more likely to buy salad and other products when they are already packaged.
  • Plus, supermarket stalls offer us a lot more than just packaged salad. How about diced pieces of butternut squash, a little kale or peeled green beans? Of course you want some!
  • In fact, the introduction of pre-washed bags of spinach dates back to the late 1990s and is touted as the main reason spinach consumption increased 16.3% in North America between 1999 and 2001.

3. Stock up on frozen vegetables

  • While frozen vegetables are generally more expensive, they are also more nutritious, since they are often frozen just hours after picking. They also look a lot more delicious than our old dried carrots or celery lying around in the bottom of our vegetable drawers.
  • Microwave a whole bag of broccoli or edamame, adding a few spoonfuls of low-fat dressing and a little Parmesan, for a quick and delicious breakfast or dinner.

4. Buy whole grain bread

  • Bread producers will never tell you, but the brown bread found on grocery store shelves is often nothing more than plain white bread browned with molasses.
  • To make sure you are dealing with brown bread, the first ingredient listed on a whole grain product should always be accompanied by the word “whole” (such as “whole wheat”).
  • If it says “multi-grain”, “cracked wheat”, “millstone wheat” or “fortified wheat”, then it is not whole wheat! These will therefore not have all of the vitamins ordinarily contained in a whole grain product.

5. Get condiments that add flavor to your dishes.

  • By choosing the right condiments, you will have the basics to concoct excellent sauces, low-fat marinades or even low-sodium seasonings that will greatly improve the taste of your meals.
  • Taken directly from supermarket shelves, these condiments often contain a significant amount of salt or sugar. The secret is therefore to use them judiciously to prepare your own seasonings or to obtain ones with a low salt or sugar content.
  • A big advantage of using these substitutes is that they’ll help keep fatty, less healthy condiments like mayonnaise, butter, margarine, and creamy dressings away from you.

Among these delicious condiments, we find:

  • Ketchup, flavored barbecue sauces, chili sauce and salsa sauce (look for varieties with no added sugar).
  • Horseradish and different types of mustard.
  • Spaghetti sauce, bruschetta and pesto (the latter is tasty topped over baked salmon).
  • Potted olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies and roasted red peppers.
  • Worcestershire sauce, hot peppers, soy and teriyaki sauces (look for low sodium varieties).
  • Extra virgin olive, sesame and walnut oils (all oils good for health).
  • Flavored vinegars and different varieties of marmalades.

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