Today, there is a plethora of choices when it comes to food shopping. Grocery stores are stocked with a cornucopia of products vying for consumer attention – all claiming to be the healthiest and tastiest option. How do you, as the consumer, decide what is truly good for your health? Fortunately, this is where you can find the health in the market.
First and foremost, know your food labels. It is important to understand the different terms and labels that are featured on food products. When shopping for produce, look for organic labels which indicate that the product was grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, GMOs, sewage sludge, irradiation or pesticides. While organic is preferable, other labels such as “natural” and “free-range” can still provide consumers with nutritious, albeit conventionally grown, foods.
Second, be sure to read the ingredient lists for processed products including snacks, cereals, sauces, and soups. Whenever possible, go for products which have short ingredient lists and contain natural ingredients. While added sugar can be detrimental to health, there is nothing wrong with a bit of sugar from a natural source, such as unsweetened dried fruit or yogurt.
In addition, shop on the perimeter of the store instead of in the middle aisles. The perimeter of the store contains the freshest food such as produce, dairy, and proteins. These areas are more likely to have healthier food options versus the middle aisles which tend to be stocked with processed and frozen food.
Finally, don’t be swayed by the multitude of marketing tactics such as fanciful packaging, colorful displays, and yummy smelling samples. These gimmicks don’t necessarily reflect the overall healthfulness of a product.
By following these tips, you can find the healthiest food options and ensure that you are getting the most nutrition out of your purchases. Beyond that, it’s always important to keep a healthy diet in balance, so don’t be afraid to indulge in some of the less healthy options from time-to-time.