Endless possibilities await you at the grocery store. One simple trip can make or break your diet. If you're just starting to try clean grocery shopping and you're wondering what to get and what to avoid, these basic tips are definitely worth keeping in mind.
Plan your grocery route
A quick and easy rule to follow is to shop around the perimeters of the store for fresh and frozen products. Avoid the aisles that contain processed foods and junk food, especially if you're clean grocery shopping. Be familiar with what aisles have your staple products to avoid the tempting cookies and chips. Try to keep your shopping cart colorful because every color has a different source of vitamin and mineral in it.
Fresh vs. Frozen vs. Canned food
Should you buy fresh, frozen or canned? Always buy fresh, if possible! What do I mean by if possible? Try only buying in-season fresh items. What’s in season? Easy! It’s usually the sale items in the fresh produce section! Purchase enough for one week as fresh produce can go bad pretty fast. If you have extra food, freeze it.(BUT: remember to blanch your vegetables before freezing them). Your next pick would be frozen food. Watch for the sodium content in frozen products! Last would be canned. Again, keep an eye out for the sodium content in canned food products when you're clean grocery shopping. Rinsing and draining cans may reduce the sodium content by as much as 40%. For canned fruits, try to find fruits canned in juice or light syrup. Avoid fruits canned in syrup or heavy syrup, as this will add a lot of unnecessary sugar to the sugar content. For canned meat, avoid getting oil-soaked meat and try to find meat soaked in water to reduce the fat content.
The grainy details about 'whole grain' food
Fifty percent of your grains should come from whole grains, but be careful! Many items that are advertised as “whole grain” in the supermarket are actually made with enriched flour, which takes out a big chunk of nutrition out from the grains. Read the ingredients and the first word you should see is “whole.” If it’s not there, pick up something else and check.
Watch for the fat content in dairy such as milk and cheese! For yogurt, read the amount of sugar it has in the nutrition label and the serving size! Fruit yogurt is usually loaded with sugar and artificial flavouring. A healthier alternative would be to buy nonfat plain yogurt and add fresh fruit to it. Not sweet enough? Add a touch of honey. Juice is another grocery item that you will want to watch for sugar on. Always try to get unsweetened juice, not diet or juice sweetened with Splenda. How do you find out? Read the list of ingredients! If you have a great juicer at home, purchase your own fruits and vegetables and blend them yourself (you'll know exactly what's going into your juice). Last, but not least for my peanut butter lovers, keep an eye out for the sugar content contained in each jar! Natural peanut butter is a better bet.
These tips about clean grocery shopping were written by PumpUp member countrygirl4ever. Follow her on PumpUp to let her know your thoughts about this article! Do you have more great advice about clean grocery shopping? We want to hear from you! Write down your suggestions in the comments below.