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How To Make Healthy Grocery Choices Every Week

By Chinelo Eze
18 January 2022   |   5:00 pm
Going on weekly shopping for the whole family can be an overwhelming task after a busy week. And with the consistent pattern, we end up purchasing the wrong items that make us not able to make healthier choices for the family. However, there are a few tips that can lessen the task ahead once you…

An empty cart in a shopping mall. Source:securityfocusafrica

Going on weekly shopping for the whole family can be an overwhelming task after a busy week. And with the consistent pattern, we end up purchasing the wrong items that make us not able to make healthier choices for the family.

However, there are a few tips that can lessen the task ahead once you follow the read.

For the week, you need to project on what will be consumed in the entire week. That summation will guide the shopping list. Having a stocked-up kitchen with the right items that have a long shelf life is one way to avoid stocking up on unhealthy foods.

Good nutrition begins with smart choices when shopping. Therefore, cooking up healthy meals could be a challenge if you do not have the right ingredients in your kitchen. Start with choosing to buy whole, nutrient-dense food over processed food. Do not be in a haste to dash in and out of a store. Stay close to the edges of the store as this is where most of the healthy food is located.

When buying packaged food, always check the nutrition label and ingredient list to ensure it is good for you.

Just in case you find this technique a bore, to read and figure out the food labels and what items are the most nutritious and the best buys, and also daunting because there are so many choices.

“Markets perform a great public service, but keep in mind they are designed to get you to buy (and, therefore, eat) more food, not less,” says Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, professor of nutrition at New York University and author of “What to Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Food Choices and Good Eating”.

Be Intuitive: Think Ahead 

According to experts, you have started shopping even before you head out to the market or the store. With your already created shopping list for the week, this will save the hassle of running back to the store for one missing item or another.

Do you want to save money while at it? During the process of creating your weekly shopping lists, compare prices with your regular stores and see which store sells what is cheaper. Be advised not to shop hungry because this can create impulse purchases which often are not the healthiest choices.

Another nutrition expert Elizabeth Ward, RD, author of The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the New Food Pyramids advises that when shopping, buy plenty of vegetables, beans, fruits, dairy, lean meat, fish, poultry, and nuts. This way you get all the good food that contains nutrients for good health.

She further emphasises that including a variety of foods will serve the most of getting a range of nutrients, and she says that “so instead of white potatoes, choose sweet potatoes, which are much richer in beta-carotene, or baby spinach instead of iceberg lettuce.”

Think out your eating box, and resist buying the same fruit you buy every week. Try out new fruits as this will help in spicing up the variety of nutrients you will get every week.

Both nutritionists say that organic foods are a great option, even though they might not be an economical choice.

“You get the same nutritional benefits with fewer pesticides [with organics], but eating plenty of produce is more important than choosing organic foods,” says Ward.

Worth your Money

It happens that convenience often results in extra cost, especially because this entails a lot of time involved in packing lunches or are trying to control portions. Ward suggests single-serve packages of precut apples and carrot sticks for food to go for her three young daughters.

“Anything that will get you and your family to eat more fruits and vegetables is worth the extra expense, especially when you consider there is no waste associated with washed and prepped produce,” says Ward.

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