5 Tips On How to Shop For a Healthier Lifestyle
If you’re looking to experience weight loss results or simply want to boost your overall health, one of the best decisions you can make is to only keep healthy foods in the house. Here are five steps that can help you and your family shop for a healthier lifestyle.****
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If unhealthy snacks and convenient pre-packaged meals are within easy reach, then the chances that you’ll consume them are far greater. Sounds simple enough, right? But how can you tell which foods are actually good for you in the supermarket when some of the pre-packaged foods have health labels too?
- Shop the perimeter and avoid the marketing ploys
The first thing you need to understand is that supermarkets are full of super marketing. They are DESIGNED to advertise certain food products to the consumer. Do you ever realize that they like to arrange the cheaper bulk items on the bottom shelves? This is because our eyes naturally gravitate to what’s at eye-level first. So, they will place the items they want you to buy there. These are the items that are normally not good for your health. In the same token, you’ll notice that supermarkets have an outer perimeter and they have aisles in the center. Shop the perimeter of the store as much as possible. This is where you’ll find the good stuff: fresh produce, chilled seafood, lean meats and whole unprocessed foods. The aisles in the middle hold all the sodas, unhealthy snacks, and high-sodium packaged meals -- generally, the things you really don’t want to have in your house in the first place.
2. Avoid the bakery
There is one caveat to that first tip though and it’s actually our second tip for smart shopping: avoiding the bakery. Although the breads tend to be situated at the perimeter of the store, most of them are full of white flour, sugar and hydrogenated oils which all spell disaster for your body. I know, I know. This is going to be a tough one to keep! You could start by trying to reduce the amount of bread you consume first, or switching to healthier versions like flatbreads, sprouted grain breads or gluten-free ones.
3. Learn to read…. food labels, that is.
Look out for sugar content, artificial sweeteners and trans fats. A good rule of thumb is that a product with more than 5 ingredients is probably over-processed and contains too many chemicals. As more people are becoming better informed about the dangers of hidden chemicals in food, manufacturers are getting craftier at renaming ingredients as well. Also, keep in mind that a health label on the front of the product may actually be a sign that a product is actually not all that healthy. Fruits and vegetables certainly don’t need a sticker to advertise their nutrients, right?
4. Use the frozen section wisely.
The freezers of the supermarket contain both good and bad foods. The frozen pizzas can tempt you but, equally, you can pick up some frozen vegetables there that you can use to make a quick stir fry at home. So, choose wisely.
5. When you’re hungry, eat. Don’t shop. The last tip is something that a lot of people forget. You’re far more likely to put guilty-pleasure foods in your cart by shopping when your tummy is growling. Your eyes have a much bigger appetite than your stomach.
Learning how to shop wisely is an important step to succeeding with your eating plan. You can ask your health coach or doctor for more information about certain items you are unsure of. A virtual grocery store tour can be useful if it’s your first time navigating an organic health foods shop or need someone to help keep your shopping trolley in check. Keep these 5 strategies in mind as you wander the supermarket to help you resist temptation and stock up your home with more healthful foods.
This guest post is written by Ireland-based Dr. Denise Karlyn Hee, a medical doctor practicing nutrigenomic medicine and certified integrative nutrition health coach. If you’d like to find out more about this topic or consult with Dr. Denise, feel free to message her via her RingMD profile (button below).
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