Blue Shield of California recently published some great pieces on healthy grocery shopping and eating. Since it’s that time of year when everyone refocuses on their health and wellness as an essential part of daily life, we thought to share these easy tips.
- Before you head to the store, take a few minutes to plan your meals for the week (or however long until you shop again), and make a list of what you’ll need. It’s also a good idea to keep an ongoing shopping list somewhere in your kitchen, so you can add items as you run out.
- To plan healthy meals, focus on the usual suspects: fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, calcium-rich dairy products, and some healthy protein such as poultry, fish, eggs, or tofu. (For more detailed nutritional guidance, see the online resources listed at the end.)
- At the store, concentrate your shopping in the outer aisles, where you’ll typically find fresh foods like fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat, and fish. Avoid the center aisles, which are home to highly processed snacks and other junk foods. It’s also important to read the ingredient labels on foods. They’ll help you quickly separate the genuinely healthy items from the pretenders.
- Another thing: Never shop when you’re hungry. You’re much more likely to succumb to temptation and find yourself in the checkout line with a family-size bag of chips and a half-dozen cupcakes.
Eating right is important, because nutrition plays a big part in your overall health. For example, a healthy diet can lessen your risk of certain cancers, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With these health eating tips, you should be well on your way:
- Add color
- Separate your plate
- Know portion size
- Eat your veggies first
- Avoid processed foods
- Drink healthy