healthy shopping

5 Simple Tips for Making Healthier Grocery Choices

In The Power of 5, Part II Putting Health Eating into Practice, Dr. Bernstein discusses the importance of simple and clean eating and following a Mediterranean style diet.

But what about grocery shopping in your favorite grocery store where there are temptations on every aisle? We all know that the stores want to sell their products, using well-established marketing techniques to get us to buy products regardless of their health benefits. Avoid being drawn into their ways … just focus your shopping list for a healthy eating lifestyle.

Here are 5 simple rules to grocery shop by ...

1 ) Go prepared with a “Clean Eating” List. What does that mean? A clean eating list includes fresh fruits, vegetables, (preferably grown organically – free of potentially harmful pesticides), and foods that are minimally processed such as unrefined grains like whole wheat, barley, bulgur, quinoa, brown rice, steel-cut oatmeal, dried beans and popcorn. A variety of oils, vinegars and raw nuts are a must in your pantry. If you do eat meat or dairy, choose unprocessed meats, wild over pastured, pastured over grain-fed. Your dairy products should be hormone-free.

2)  When you arrive, head directly to the produce section to choose your fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably ones that are colorful as these will be filled with vitamins, minerals and nutrients. In times when you need fruits or veggies that are not in season, you can use frozen, as long as they are fresh frozen and have no additives in the packaging. I always keep some frozen fruits and veggies on hand in my freezer for convenience.

3) Canned and dried goods, are great to keep on hand. I use them in sautees and soups. Be sure what you buy is free from additives such as salt and sugar, which are used as preservatives. Buy organic when you can.

4) When buying breads, pasta or cereals, read labels. Again, think clean – stay away from additives, sugary products. Fact: 4 grams of sugar = 1 tsp of sugar.

5) Remember to maintain portion sizes and food group balance at each meal. Small plates and utensils help to keep portion size down. Measure portions at each meal to be sure you maintain correct portion size.

A helpful guide to portions at each meal:

Breakfast: 75-85% Protein; 10% Fats – Avocado or nuts; 10-15% Fruits.

Lunch: 40% Veggies; 30% Protein;10% Fruits; 10% qualified Carbohydrates – grains, quinoa, beans, legumes and 10% flavoring for salads or vegetables.

Dinner: 30% Veggies; 40% Protein; 10% Fruits; 10% qualified Carbohydrates – grains, quinoa, beans, legumes and 10% Olive oil, avocado, etc …

Keeping these 5 rules in the forefront of your mind will support your success in the Power of 5 healthy lifestyle.

To healthy eating,

Melissa