Many, (not all) grocery store layouts are dependant on companies that pay for spots to have their products sold. So that means that the food that probably isn’t the best for us, is out in the open in high traffic, easy to spot areas. The healthier finds are usually tucked away.
- Buy produce that is fresh and not already cut up. (You save money!) Produce like grapes, apples, and berries need to be cleaned properly to get rid of the pesticides and dirt. Do this by simply making a vinegar and baking soda bath in the sink and let soak for 10-15 min. Usually about a 1/2C of each works well!
- If and when you are buying fruit juice- look for organic or not from concentrate. Remember my last post- these are FULL of unwanted sugar.
- Buying meat from local butchers is your best bet! You can ask them where the meat came from, and you usually get fresher products! Most have variety packages you can buy where you can order in advance. This helps with family meal planning, and saves you money! When buying meat at grocery stores, look for the words “grain fed”, or “hormone-free”. If it’s from a local farm, I’m usually sold!
Buying eggs, milks and cheese:
- Eggs are something that you can actually taste the difference, between good quality and not so good quality eggs. The yolks are usually darker in better quality eggs, tasting farm fresh! Higher omega content doesn’t necessarily mean the best, and usually they pack a high price tag. Egg shell colour means nothing as well. Look for free range, or grass fed, meaning hens have had room to move around and live freely when producing eggs.
- If you drink cow’s milk, 2% is the better of the three. (Homogenized, pasteurized or skim) Skim milk is not a healthier choice! Remember lower fat, means higher sugar or added chemicals.
- Non dairy milks- if you can tolerate nuts, almond and cashew pack better nutrition than any other dairy alternative. Or you can make these at home!
- Cheese- although most dairy is highly processed, cheese comes in pretty high! Look for classic cheeses usually found in the deli areas that pack better flavour and aren’t as processed as some of the rest. Shred your own cheese to keep more money in your pocket! Dairy alternatives like Daiya can also be found at most grocery stores.
- Choose butter, ghee or a healthy oil like coconut, over margarine. Margarine is highly processed. Remember, real food always wins over processed. You just have to be mindful of quantity and how you’re using them when cooking.
- Breads- if you can tolerate wheat, look for a local brand that contains whole grains or comes sprouted. If you’re wheat free, look for gluten free options that contain real food ingredients! There are so many gluten free options that are loaded with chemicals!
Read your food labels:The big ones to look out for?
High fructose corn syrup, sugar, artificial flavours, partially hydrogenated, or hydrogenated oil, nitrates, MSG in all forms, and food colourings- especially red, orange and yellow dyes. Artificial sugars like to sneak their way in there as well! Look for sucrulose (Splenda), Saccharin (Sweet’N Low), Aspartame (Equal), and Acesulfame-K (Sweet One).
When you choose processed inexpensive food, over nutrient dense, real food, you are sacrificing your health. There are many options to buy in bulk, or buy when items go on sale (stock up and freeze). Most grocery stores have a customer appreciation day, utilize this! Make a reminder and plan around.
So remember, keep to the outside layout of the store, read food labels. (The food you’re buying should be the first ingredient in the label and shouldn’t be a mile long with hard to pronounce names), wash your produce properly, look for sales, buy in season, and made as close to home as possible. Get familiar with your kitchen and cook at home!
Your grocery list should be a priority. Cut other areas in your spending to ensure you can meet the needs of including some good quality, high fiber, nutritious foods in your kitchen! It make take a little extra planning and budgeting, but I tell you, it’s worth it for you and your family.
Hope these tips helped with your next grocery shop!
Here’s to your health!
As always, check with your doctor or health practitioner for any medical related questions. This information is to be used as a guide and not to replace medical advice.