Grocery Shopping for a Healthy Diet Made Easy

The grocery store can be an intimidating place.  With so many options, it can be hard to decipher what food you should be buying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  There are all sorts of products out there that try to convince you they are healthy foods.  It's hard to know what foods you can trust, to keep you on the path of healthy living.

One of the great pieces of advice I read, when trying to grocery shop for a healthy diet, is to buy the majority of your foods from the outer aisles of the grocery store.  All the isles in the middle of the store usually contain packaged, boxed, and processed foods, which you'll want to stay away from in most cases.  I thought about that for a minute after I read it.  I thought about the grocery stores I frequently went to, and sure enough, the outer aisles always had the healthier foods.

The mainstays in a healthy diet, which are the most obvious, are fruits and vegetables.  If you think about it, all the canned fruit and vegetables are usually in an aisle that's in the middle of the store.  They're not included with the fresh fruits and vegetables.  That's because the canned fruits and vegetables usually contain added sugar and/or syrup.  This can turn a serving of oranges into a nutritional disaster.  Choose fresh fruit and vegetables, which contain natural sugar, and you'll be on your way to a healthy diet.

Another part of a healthy diet is lean protein. I usually get this from lean ground beef, lean ground turkey, chicken, and fish on occasion.  I'm not a big fan of fish, but I realize how healthy it is, so I try and force some down every once and while.  I realize there are people out there who are vegetarians, or who try and limit their red meat intake.  Other good protein options are nuts (unsalted), whey protein powders, greek yogurt, eggs, and cottage cheese. Most of these options follow the outer aisles theory.

Most of us know that pre-packaged foods are most likely not healthy for us.  They won't aid in weight loss, and can contain a lot of empty calories.  One trick food companies use is they label their product as "all natural".  This makes the buyer think the food is considered healthy, because of the labeling.  This usually isn't the case.  There isn't any nutritional criteria that a product must meet, in order for it to be labeled as all natural.  One example I see a lot of us all natural granola bars.  Sounds pretty healthy, right?  Not exactly.  Take a closer look and they usually contain a lot of added sugars and syrups.  Please beware of the "all natural" labeling, it usually doesn't mean anything at all.

If you can do the majority of your grocery shopping using the outer aisles, you'll be in great shape to stay on track with your healthy diet.  Stay away from the packaged and processed foods, which contain added sugar and salt.  They're less filling, contain more empty calories, and can easily derail your healthy eating habits.