If there’s one thing you can count on when you go food shopping, it’s the fact that, everywhere you turn, you will be faced with unhealthy foods and beverages, many of which may look pretty appealing if you happen to be peckish as well. Yes, sadly, when it comes to mass markets, it’s perfectly clear that unhealthy processed goods certainly take precedence over fresh, healthy, and nutritious produce, and it’s very clear to understand why, as well. The main issue with fresh and healthy produce, is the fact that, as the foods contain no artificial chemicals, flavourings, additives, or preservatives, they only have a shelf life (in the chilled section) of just a few days. Processed artificial junk however, is rich in chemical preservatives, which basically give the food shelf lives of several weeks, possibly even months. When you add to this, the fact that manufacturing these foods and drinks is very cheap, because the produce can be bulked out with unhealthy junk, the reason why supermarkets tend to favour these types of foods becomes all too obvious – money. Finding healthy produce is certainly not as easy as it is to find unhealthy foods, but even so, if you’re trying to eat healthy and stay in/get in shape, there are certain things you can do to help you reach your goal. Take a look at these seven examples:
Never go food shopping whilst hungry
First and foremost, you’ve probably heard people tell you this before, and if you have, they were absolutely right. If you’re feeling hungry, you’re far less likely to make healthy food choices, and will instead find the various desserts, cakes, pies, biscuits, chips, ice creams, and cookies etc, far more appealing, and will therefore find yourself adding more and more items into your shopping basket. Instead, what you should do, is ensure that you’ve already eaten before you go shopping, so as to not experience the hunger pains and cravings. Think about it for a second; if you’ve ever been especially hungry and craving junk food, if you decided to eat a fresh and healthy meal instead, and wait five minutes, you’d find the hunger pains and cravings had passed, and that those unhealthy foods you may have been craving, probably then didn’t seem quite as appealing.
Try not to go food shopping in a bad mood
We all have days where we’re feeling tired, lethargic, run down, irritable, and seemingly everything goes wrong, which of course puts us in a pretty vile mood. When we feel like this, we often lose motivation and many people like to comfort eat to help lift their spirits and make them feel better. If you find yourself having a bad day and experiencing a particularly bad mood, don’t go food shopping if you can help it, because you will lose focus, you’ll want to get in and out as quickly as possible, and again, you’ll be far more likely to make unhealthy dietary choices. If you do find yourself feeling irritable, try to put off your shopping trip until the next day, to help ensure you feel better and can therefore become more focused on eating right.
Get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
When it comes to healthy produce, you simply cannot deny the sheer power and importance of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, and rightfully so, as well. Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and countless other nutrients that does the body a whole world of good. All of these nutrients serve a specific purpose in the body, whether it’s: Boosting the immune system, enhancing brain function, boosting the metabolism, improving circulation, enhancing organ function, and much more besides. When you walk past the fresh fruit and vegetable aisles, make sure you fill your basket with plenty of your favourite fruits and veggies, as they’re so, so important. The great thing about these ingredients is the fact that they’re cheap, they’re versatile, they taste great, and they’re low in fat and rich in natural goodness.
Create a list before you hit the shops
Another great way of ensuring your shopping is as healthy as it can possibly be, is to take the time to create a shopping list before you head to the shops, to ensure you have everything you need. It’s no good just playing it by ear and throwing things into your basket just because they look healthy, as that will take you twice as long, and will almost certainly result in you missing certain items. By making a list of everything healthy you need, you have no excuses for not eating right, and you will save time and make the entire process that little bit more bearable.
Buy healthy substitutions
If you have a favourite type of food from the supermarket, that is notoriously unhealthy, full fat cheese perhaps, then rather than denying yourself of the cheese altogether, why not opt for a lighter, healthier version instead? The same goes for meat. Instead of skin-on fatty chicken thighs, skinless chicken breasts are leaner and just as tasty, with far fewer calories and unhealthy fats.
Don’t assume that low-fat/reduced fat is healthy
One common mistake that people make when shopping for healthy produce, is seeing words such as “low fat” or “reduced fat” on labels, and assuming the food is healthy. Often times, these foods are pumped full of salt and artificial flavourings to make up for the missing fat content, so make sure you read what’s in it, which leads us to our final example.
Read food labels – When it comes to healthy food shopping, one of the best things you can do is take the time to read food labels and read the list of ingredients found in the food. Ideally you want foods with as few ingredients as possible, as they are generally the healthier options. If you read the ingredients list of processed foods for example, just one item may contain 20, or possibly even more, ingredients, many of which you will have never heard of. Look for natural ingredients, and generally the fewer ingredients, the better.