Learn a few ways to make your next shopping trip a little more nutritious.

We know going to the grocery store when you’re hungry is a bad idea. Who doesn’t want to buy everything in sight? Whether you go shopping hungry or not, these tips will help you buy foods that keep your health goals on track.

1. Buy healthy foods in bulk.

Almonds, brown rice, and quinoa are a few of my favorites to stock up on. They last a couple of months in the pantry, so I always have a healthy option at arm’s reach.

2. Make a shopping list.

This will keep you from throwing in unnecessary items. But wait…the cookies are on sale!? If they aren’t on your list, then you’ll be less likely to notice them. With a list, you’re on a mission to find those items, rather than aimlessly browsing around the store for 20 minutes.

3. Read the ingredients.

When you can’t decide on which product to buy, check out the ingredients rather than the nutrition label. A quick tip—short ingredient lists that contain familiar ingredients are usually the better option. It’s important to know exactly what’s going into your body! And that means no hydrogenated oils.

4. Look for local.

Ask the store clerk what produce is from local farms. Local foods are good for the environment, your wallet, and your taste buds. Plus, produce picked at its peak is higher in nutrients than its counterparts that are picked early and shipped.

5. Don’t buy foods with a nutrition label.

This is your chance to go all natural! Fruits, veggies, eggs, and anything else your heart desires. It doesn’t get healthier than that!

6. Buy “whole”.

Look for whole grains as the top ingredient in breads, cereals, pasta, and crackers. The color brown just isn’t enough. It must say “whole” to ensure that it has the nutrient-rich bran and germ included. Also, check the fiber content and aim for at least 2–3 grams. 

7. Choose canned foods.

Canned fruits and vegetables are often overlooked as not healthy. But those without added sugar and little to no salt can be just as healthy as fresh or frozen. Keep these stocked in your pantry for a quick healthy snack or side dish.

Happy Shopping!

Hannah Mackintosh