Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet will depend greatly on our daily routine and acquiring healthy food supplies is of upmost importance. This will determine what we will eat during the week, the following week, even the entire month, depending on how often we go to the supermarket.
We often hear the complaint that eating healthier is more expensive, that common comment often leads us to making bad decisions when choosing food items. However, if we learn certain strategies to help us while shopping, we will see that statement above is a false myth. As you will see, it is possible to buy high quality items for our diet, without burning a hole in our wallet.
Hints for choosing healthy items:
Plan ahead: It is important that you plan ahead before marching into the supermarket to go shopping. You need to decide what you need, what meals you will be cooking, then make a list of the ingredients that you will be needing, maybe adjusting the recipes for more healthier choices. Take with you a shopping list to the supermarket, this will help you not to forget any item and not to be distracted by other items that you don’t need.
Don’t go hungry: As you all know, if we go to the supermarket hungry, we end up filling our cart with items that we don’t need. Chips, cookies or bread are the most likely items that will seem attractive to your starving appetite. We will end up buying fatty, salty and sweet items.
Go shopping at farmer’s markets: Normally, we don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables because of the cost. As we normally shop at supermarkets that charge too much for their produce, but luckily most of us live near farmer’s markets that sell fresh produce by the farmer’s themselves at reduced prices and higher quality.
Read the labels: Don’t get obsessed with looking at the calories, but do look at the labels to get an idea of the ingredients, quantities, nutritional value and which items are enriched with the following: iron, calcium, omega threes, fiber, etc. Also, look for products that are low fat, unsweetened, gluten-free, sugar-free, low in sodium, etc.
Avoid if possible, pre-cooked items or that require little to no cooking or fried foods. Whenever it is possible, try and make your meals at home from scratch, as it allows you to choose your ingredients, how much of each one you will use and the cooking method. If you find your schedule too busy for cooking at home, remember there is no food faster than fruit or vegetables that could be enjoyed with pastas, meats, rice, etc.
It is important to plan how much you want to spend before shopping. Also, choose items that will provide the most nutritional benefits for your health and those you want to avoid eating, even if they are healthy. It is up to us to try and improve our quality of life, but we need to make priorities in our life to be able to do that. Once we have decided to do that, we have to make sure they take first place in our lives, putting our health first.