Many of the decisions you make about eating healthfully are made in the grocery store. With a little advance planning, you can select ingredients and prepared foods that fit into a heart-healthy life-style. Without planning, it is easy to slip back to your old way of eating or to stock up or imapulse buys.
These tips will help you make wise choices in the grocery store and also will make preparing meals easier.
Plan a week’s worth of menus and include the ingredients you need on your grocery list. When you plan menus and make the grocery list, keep in mind the six basic guidelines. You will probably need more fruits, vegetables, breads, and cereals than you previously bought. Foods you may have thought of as side dishes (such as pasta, rice, beans) will become more prominent on your list. Keep the smaller portion sizes in mind when buying meat. In the dairy department, look for low-fat or skim milk products.
Buy only those items on your list. Do not shop on an empty stomach. If you shop when you are hungry, you may be tempted to buy foods you don’t need.
Shop when you have time to read food labels.
If possible, buy fresh foods rather than mixes or ready-to-eat foods so that you can control what ingredients are added.
Shop the perimeter of the store. Many supermarkets place some of the most healthful foods (fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meats, bread, and dairy products) on convenient perimeter aisles.
If you cannot resist the temptation of impulse buys, arrange for someone else to do your grocery shopping.