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Healthy Food Shopping at the Supermarket

By Edited Apr 28, 2016 3 11

Healthy Food Shopping

Supermarket Shopping List for Healthy Eating

Smart Shopping

If you are prepared to plan ahead, then you can arrive at the supermarket knowing that the shopping you take home will be healthy.

Alternatively, if you dash to the supermarket after a full day's work with no thought for what you need to buy, then you are likely to end up with a trolley full of both convenience foods and unhealthy foods and a totally imbalanced diet. Naturally, we all know that an unhealthy lifestyle and poor diet can be dangerous.

 

On the other hand, you, the supermarket shopper, have absolute control over what you buy and what you and your family eat. So there's no excuse.

Here are a few guidelines to help you before and during your supermarket trip.

 

1. Just a

Box of Apples
Little Pre-Planning

Take 15 minutes to plan your outline menus for the week. These menus should balance meat, poultry and fish and include plenty of fruit and vegetables and pulses. You do not need to decide exactly what you will eat each day but know that you will need seven items for your basic meals.

Once you arrive at the supermarket make sure you stick to your list!

2.Eat Before You Shop

If you arrive at the supermarket hungry you are more likely to make impulse purchases such as biscuits, chocolates or crisps. In other words, you will pick up items of convenience food that you can nibble on the way home. These items will be full of fat and have a high sugar content. Avoid them!

3. The Perimeter of the Supermarket

When you enter the supermarket, make for the perimeter. Often the fresh vegetables and fresh fruits are located here and you can make a good start by fillin

Vegetables(84481)
g your trolley with healthy, nutritious foods that will provide you with a variety of important nutrients. Try to choose a range of coloured fruit and vegetables as these colours reflect different minerals and vitamins.

If you can avoid the pre-packed fruit and vegetables and choose your own quantities, then you will save money and are likely to throw away less food.

4. The Fish Counter

You will also find the fish counter on the perimeter. There will be both a variety of pre-packed fish and shellfish and also an assistant serving the fresh fish of your choice to your specific order. The assistant will oblige by filleting whole fish for you, all ready for your meal.

Fish Counter

Salmon is an excellent choice.It contains Omega 3-fatty acids, is versatile so that it can be eaten warm or cold with a salad, or warm with vegetables.

Be aware that shellfish look appetizing and inviting but fresh prawns, for example, may be high in cholesterol, although this is disputed in certain circles.

 

5. The Poultry Counter

Again, you will find the poultry on the perimeter. A poultry counter will provide you with all assortments of chicken from legs, thighs, breasts and whole chickens.

There is likely to be a ready-cooked poultry counter nearby, too. Usually this poultry has been cooked with the skin on, so remove it before you place it on the plate for your meal.

Chicken and Roasted Tomatoes

6. The Meat Counter

Plan your meat content with care. Avoid eating red meat too often. Choose white meat, like pork, but keep your meat for the week to a minimum.

7. Breads, Cereal and Pasta

If you are going to eat bread then buy wholemeal with added seeds. Make sure it is brown bread. You're looking for the least processed foods that are whole grain. The same applies to cereals.

Although pasta is carbohydrate, it makes a healthy alternative to lots of potatoes on your menu. And variety is importance for the balance of the foods you eat.

8. Dairy Counter

Take care what you're buying here. Choose fully skimmed milk if possible and if you're cooking with cream [very occasionally] then choose low-fat cream or crème fraiche.You can include a little low-fat cheese in your diet but go easy on the quantity you buy. There is so much choice but Edam and Gouda are preferential.

It's best to avoid many of  these temptations at the Dairy Counter, though. If you don't have any of these sinful items in your fridge, then you can't be tempted.

9. Pulses

You will have to mov

Avoid Supermarket Aisles
e from the perimeter to one of the aisles to find the pulses but stick to your shopping list and look for pulses as an interesting  alternative. Beans, lentils and peas have plenty of fibre content and are a good source of potassium. For something different you could cook butter beans and add sage and garlic.

10. Frozen and Canned Foods

These foods do have a place in your kitchen. But take care to read the labels on the cans. If you're buying canned fish, like sardines or tuna, then try the fish in brine rather than thick oil.

Also check the salt level of all canned foods.

Frozen vegetables are ideal when the fresh ones are out of season but only buy as a fall-back.

Discipline

Remember, at all times you are trying to shop healthily. Do not go up and down the aisles if unnecessary as there will be lots of temptations along the way. If you buying juices or bottles of drinks, then read the labels for level of fruit content. Better still, sparkling water or still water is really refreshing.

At the Checkout

You will also find the bars of chocolate at the checkout so keep your eyes firmly on your list. You've done exceptionally well on your supermarket shopping so far and your trolley is a nutritionist's dream. Don't spoil it by being tempted at the last-minute. Divert your attention whilst you're waiting in the queue and plan your menus in more detail now you know exactly what foods you have.

Fridge Contents
Enjoy unpacking your shopping in the knowledge that you have resisted temptation and have a healthy looking fridge and kitchen cupboards filled with foods that will protect you and your family's health.

Happy and Healthy Eating!

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Grilled Salmon with salad
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Comments

Feb 11, 2012 3:31pm
Lynsuz
Very good tips on planning healthy meals.
Feb 11, 2012 4:15pm
TerrieTez
Thanks, Lynsuz. It just needs a bit of discipline.
Mar 31, 2012 10:52am
WebAddict
Very useful tips. Thanks for sharing!
Mar 31, 2012 11:29am
TerrieTez
Hi WebAddict
Glad you found my article helpful. Thanks for commenting.
Apr 3, 2012 12:34pm
WebAddict
I love that part, "eat before you shop." That should work for me. :)
Mar 31, 2012 12:55pm
Introspective
Congratulations on another well-deserved feature article, Terrie! These are all great tips for smart and healthy shopping at the supermarket.
Mar 31, 2012 1:38pm
TerrieTez
Thank you for your kind comments, Introspective.
Apr 1, 2012 6:12pm
Jerky
The "Perimeter" trick is gold. I'm a wannabe healthy eater, but I always get sidetracked by the shiny packaging of all the processed junk. But if I force myself to stay out of the isles, I'm not nearly as tempted.
Apr 3, 2012 1:18am
GregorMendel
Do you really consider pork to be white meat? It was marketed as "the other white meat," but usually I recommend turkey or chicken to be healthy.
Apr 2, 2013 5:19pm
KimChaos
Great advice and great article TerrieTez. So many good points and advice to live by. Timeless.
Apr 3, 2013 12:51am
TerrieTez
Thank you. If we can keep our discipline we're on a winner!
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Bibliography

  1. Lisa hark PhD RD and Dr Darwin deen Nutrition for Life. London: Penguin group, 2005.

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