Home > Health Library > Healthy Eating: Making Healthy Choices When You Shop
Healthy eating starts with smart food
shopping. Here you will find pointers on how to make the most of your trip to
the grocery store. Whether you want to eat healthier or lose weight, these tips
will help you get started.
Use the shopping list
you created from your menu plan. You may notice that most of the items on the
outer aisles of the store are fresh foods, such as meat, produce, and dairy.
These items tend to be less processed compared to some of the foods in the
center aisles, such as packaged cookies, chips, or soda. As you shop, pay
attention to how much you buy from the outer aisles compared to the inner
aisles where the processed foods are.
When you are selecting items from your list, try to
choose foods lower in fat, calories, and/or sodium if possible. For example,
when you buy sandwich meat, remember that plain roast turkey or roast beef has
much less fat and sodium than processed lunch meat. You can also buy fat-free
or low-fat dairy items, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.
limit drinks with added sugar, such as soda and sweetened iced tea. Instead,
try to drink more water or buy sugar-free drinks or drinks with little or no
Include some healthy convenience foods on your
shopping list for both meals and snacks. These are great to have on hand if you
are busy or don't like to cook. You may want to try:
buy just what's on your shopping list as much as possible. Sale items may seem
like a good bargain. But if you weren't planning on buying them in the first
place, they may not be a good deal.
Portion size is also an
important part of healthy eating. Whether you are shopping for yourself or a
family, you can buy certain things in bulk. For example, if you buy a large
"family pack" of chicken, you can divide it into single-meal portions and
freeze them. This is a good way to control how much you eat at each meal and
have a quick option available when you don't have time to go to the store.
Keep in mind that if you are shopping for one, not everything is
good to buy in bulk quantities. Fresh produce and other perishables in large
amounts may not last long enough for one person to eat them all.
January 25, 2013
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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