Today is Sunday and for most people, it’s time to get your groceries for the week. There are a TON of options and it can get pretty overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to eat a little healthier. The food companies these days have been getting pretty creative with their marketing and they try to trick us. Whatever you do, don’t fall for the traps!
Here are a few tips on how to improve your ability to pick the right foods at the grocery store:
- Count the ingredients. If the food you have in your hands has 5 or more ingredients, put it back. If the ingredients are all veggies, however, put that in your cart! Try to stay away from the processed foods. The rule of thumb is the more ingredients, the more processed the food. Rule 2 should help with this.
- Pick foods with ingredients you can PRONOUNCE. If you can’t say the name of an ingredient in your food, chances are it’s probably not the best choice.
- First stop, the produce section. As Michael Pollan says, “Eat real food, mostly plants, not too much.” Produce only has one ingredient, itself. The more colorful the food, the better. Pick the veggies you know you like, but try a new one until you’ve gone through them all. You’ll never know what else you like!
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery section. If you’re looking for those foods with the fewest ingredients, your best bet is to avoid the isles and stick to the perimeter of the store. The foods in the center are there for a reason….they can last a really long time due to all the extra chemicals in them!
- No High Fructose Corn Syrup. Back to that ingredient label! HFCS is probably the worst ingredient for you but also the best tasting. I know, not a good pairing. Avoid it at all costs. Eating it comes with a high price; calories! Don’t be tricked either. Food companies are actually changing the name BECAUSE they know it’s bad but it’s cheap to put in your food and keeps you coming back. Here are a few of the new names: “Sucrose,” “Fructose Syrup,” “Fructose Corn Syrup,” “maize syrup,” “glucose syrup,” “fruit fructose,” and “crystalline fructose.” Yeah…I thought so too. You’re too smart to get hustled.
We hope this helps. If you need to, start with one rule at a time and slowly add a new one. If you have any questions, post them in the comments.