The Cart is the Start! Six Shopping Tips for Healthy Eating

Next Gen in Nutrition
By the Body Reboot Experts at Evolv Health

1. Focus on shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store. That’s where you’ll find the most healthy choices and the least-processed options. By shopping the fresh produce, fish, lean meat and dairy sections of the store, you’ll be less tempted to hang out in the aisles luring you in with cookies, chips and sodas. After you’ve shopped the outer boundary of the store, use your list to navigate the rest of the aisles. Look above and below the center shelves for the most healthful selections.
2. Have a plan. Make a list of foods you need. Plan to do your menu planning for a week at a time. A simple weekly plan and shopping trip eliminates those midweek trips to the store and all those added temptations lurking around every turn.
3. Don’t shop on an empty stomach. We all know why that makes sense. When you’re hungry, everything jumps into your cart. Before you shop, instead of walking in with an empty stomach, snack on some nuts or vegetables. Or enjoy a whole foods Evolv LifeBar or Shake. Filling your tummy with good stuff will lower the chances of filling your cart with junk.
4. Compare and Choose Based on Priorities. Before you shop, know what’s important to you for healthy eating. Is it sodium that causes you issues? Or lack of fiber? Too much sugar? Once you know your priorities, you can then focus in on that nutrient when you read labels. If you’re trying to lose weight, pay particular attention to calories and the serving size listed. Ignore the calories from total fat, though. A calorie is a calorie. (But do try to avoid foods whose fat comes mostly from trans fats or saturated fat.)
5. Be label-smart. Most healthy foods like fruits and vegetables don’t have nutrition labels. However, packaged foods do. So knowing how to read labels is a great way to make smart choices. How can you tell whether one breakfast cereal, for example, is better than another? Compare them by checking the Nutrition Facts panel.

6. Tips for Checking Nutrition Facts (from Health.gov)
Check servings and calories. Look at the serving size and how many servings you are actually eating.
tip: If you eat 2 servings of a food, you will consume double the calories and double the % Daily Value (% DV) of the nutrients listed on the Nutrition Facts label.
Eat less sugar. Foods with added sugars may provide calories, but few essential nutrients. So, look for foods and beverages low in added sugars. Read the ingredient list, and make sure added sugars are not one of the first few ingredients.

tip: Names for added sugars (caloric sweeteners) include sucrose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup, and fructose.

Know your fats. Look for foods low in saturated and trans fats, and cholesterol, to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Most of the fats you eat should be polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as those in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.

Reduce sodium (salt); increase potassium. Research shows that eating less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium (about 1 tsp of salt) per day may reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Older adults tend to be salt-sensitive. If you are an older adult or salt-sensitive, aim to eat no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day, the equivalent of about 3/4 teaspoon.

tip: Most sodium you eat is likely to come from processed foods, not from the salt shaker. Read the Nutrition Facts label, and choose foods lower in sodium and higher in potassium.
Reference:
https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/toolkit/Worksheets/foodlabel.htm