One of the most confusing places when trying to eat right is a Grocery Store. So many options and so many different things to think about. I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you make better choices in various areas of the store:
Produce: Find a list online of in-season fruits and vegetables. In-season produce will typically go on sale and the price will drop drastically. Not only will this save you money, but the nutrient quality is usually higher when foods are in-season.
Meat & Poultry: Look for cuts with less fat on them and less marbling (fat throughout). Choose 90% lean or above on ground meats.
Seafood: Avoid frozen and breaded patties as they are typically fried before they are frozen.
Dairy: Greek yogurt contains almost double the protein of regular yogurt, counting it as both a carbohydrate and a protein food. Plain Greek yogurt tastes similar to sour cream and can be substituted for sour cream and/or mayonnaise in many dishes.
Canned Foods: Canned fish and chicken can be an easy, inexpensive way to make a meal i.e. tuna fish salad or chicken salad. Make sure these items are packed in water and not oil.
Condiments: Look for “clear” salad dressings (ex: vinaigrettes) rather than creamy as they typically contain less sugar and fat.
Bread: Ensure that a product market “Whole Wheat” has whole wheat as the first ingredient on the ingredients list.
Frozen Foods: Avoid frozen dinners as they typically contain a high amount of sodium as a preservative.
Processed Foods: Avoid foods with partially or fully hydrogenated oil in the ingredients list. These are code words for Trans Fats.
I hope this can help as you navigate your favorite grocery store!
Katherine Horner, MS, RD, LD, NASM-CPT, CES
Surgical Weight Loss Dietitian & Exercise Specialist