Healthier Grocery Shopping Tips

Smart tips for healthier grocery shopping.

Write it down

Best way to start a healthy grocery shopping is to make a list. Write down all the food items you require, making sure that you include some healthy items as well. This will eventually train your mind to only pick up healthy foods, and will help you do away with your temptation to put some unhealthy food in the basket.

Pick more fresh produce

Of course, this one is a no-brainer, yet important enough to be reiterated again and again. Check what is your usual ratio of fresh produce vs packaged products in your grocery basket. If it is anything less than 30%, make sure you increase it gradually by adding 10% extra fresh veggies and fruits to it the next time you go on shopping. Do this, unless you reach the 50-60% share of fresh fruits and veggies.

Buying packaged food? Pick one with short ingredient list

Ideally you should try not to pick packaged food. We advise you to choose the lesser evil, i.e., packaged food with a short ingredient list. Remember, the shorter the ingredient list of a packaged food, the less harmful chemicals you will take in by consuming it.

Read nutritional details

At times, while buying food products we tend to be taken over by tall nutritional claims (which often are untrue) advertised on the box. In order to ensure that you are closer to the nutrition truth of the product in question, skip the claims on the front of the box and look for the nutritional details instead. Also, it is important to look at the serving size mentioned under the nutritional head. The reason being, the companies often tend to pick up too small a serve size to hide the excess calories, fat, etc., and this might mislead you.

Look above and below eye level

As we shop, the natural tendency is to look for products and shelves at our eye level. But remember marketers are aware of that. The products placed at that level are mostly the ones that they want you to put in your basket first. Unfortunately, more often such products are bad on nutritional value and also high on price. So, next time you go shopping look for products above and below you eye level. And this way you'll also score good deals!

Buy non-flavored

Whenever buying for milk, yogurt, shakes, cereals, etc., avoid picking up flavored version. Instead opt for the plain or the original version. This is because the flavors are artificially added and means more chemicals, sugars and unwanted calories. In contrast, the plain version of these products has better nutritional profile.

Know the difference between organic and natural

Often companies put claims as natural on the product which really have no backing and people tend to confuse those products as organic, but that's not the truth. So be careful and don't get fooled by false natural claims. Learn to discriminate between real organic products and fake 'natural' claims.

Visual cart check

Just as you finish picking up all the products and are heading to the payment counter, give your cart a visual check. Your cart should visually show you 50% of fruits and veggies, 25% of lean proteins and a decent amount of healthy fats.

Eat well before

This one may seem odd but it is true! If you go grocery shopping hungry, you tend to do more of impulse purchase often causing you to pick up lot of junk, greasy and comfort food, which you regret eating. On the contrary, if you are decently full as you shop you are able to your mind better and shop sensibly. more  

Shikhaji. You have given a Psychological Tip. Yes I agree with you. It matters a lot.
"Eat well before

This one may seem odd but it is true! If you go grocery shopping hungry, you tend to do more of impulse purchase often causing you to pick up lot of junk, greasy and comfort food, which you regret eating. On the contrary, if you are decently full as you shop you are able to your mind better and shop sensibly." more  
Thanks for correcting me Mr. MMA Khan. more  
Very very helpful. By the way, Professor Umesh Kumar Ji! it is "flour" (Atta) not "floor", I hope it is a typo. more  
Quite comprehensive & useful. We should also look for attractive schemes/discount offers by reputed companies. Few products of regular use should also be changed for other/ better ingredients or from other reputed companies like refined oils, soaps, shaving creams, shampoos, toothpastes, toothbrushes, floor, rice, dals, CFL to LCD bulbs, non oily/roasted or less oily namkeens. Please look for batch nos, date of manufacturing and date of expiry on packed products. Compare the god products based on rate per unit weight/volume and preferably do not purchase any product for more than a month's requirement more  
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