Healthy eating starts with healthy shopping.
If you want to create a healthier lifestyle for yourself and your family, the grocery department or shop should be your starting point. It sounds straightforward but healthy grocery shopping can be a tricky task because there are so many choices to make and things which need to be considered. That’s why we’ve collected some tips to help you make more healthy food choices and to get a better overview on what’s important when it comes to healthy food shopping.
Start the process even before you go shopping. Plan your meals for the week, and create a list to shop from. This will take a few minutes, but will help you avoid buying food you don’t need. Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach: Hungry people tend to impulse buy things that are not always the healthiest.
Read food labels carefully.
Reading food labels is crucial, especially when you buy packed groceries. Be sure to check the number of servings and calories, look at the serving size and think about how many servings you are actually eating. Do just count the calories, but make them count: compare them with the nutrients they offer. The more nutrients and fewer calories, the better. Try to avoid sugars by looking for foods and beverages low in added sugars. A similar thing with fats: look for foods low in saturated and trans fats, and cholesterol. You’ll find healthy fats in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
What to consider when buying proteins.
If you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, look for proteins from animal sources – all the essential amino acids needed by the body can be found in a single foodstuff e.g. beef, lamb, or fish. Always try to buy fresh meat or fish. Beware of fishmongers with unpleasant odours. Fresh fish have bright, clear eyes without any dullness and should appear clean without any discoloured patches. If the colour of the fish fades, it’s old.
What to consider when buying bread.
The first ingredient in your bread should be whole-grain flour. Without the word “whole” the bread is made with refined grains meaning valuable nutrients are lost. Don’t let the colour trick you – just because it’s brown doesn’t make it whole grain; sometimes manufacturers add molasses or other colouring to darken the bread.
You should also aim for at least 1 gram of fibre for every 10 grams of carbohydrates: if your slice has 20 grams of carbohydrates, it should contain at least 2 grams of fibre.
While the ingredient list for store-bought bread is usually longer than a recipe you’d follow at home, not all ingredients are bad. Ascorbic acid and glycerol, for example, aren’t harmful and simply help to extend the bread’s shelf life.
Celebrate seasonal fruit.
When shopping for fruits and vegetables, be sure to always buy fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season. Easy to get, their taste is more intensive and they are usually less expensive. Also check your local farmer’s market for seasonal and locally produced products. Buy small amounts frequently because some fresh vegetables and fruits don’t last long. When buying larger amounts, preserve them up to 3 times longer with freshness systems from Bosch or prepare them in portions and freeze them to avoid any unnecessary food waste.