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The Savvy Shopper’s Guide To Clean, Healthy Eating

diet guides shopping weight loss Jan 30, 2022

Any healthy eating plan begins at the grocery store.  Learning to make smart choices when shopping for food is the key to the success of any healthy eating plan.  Learning to recognize the healthiest, freshest foods is a skill every grocery shopper must learn.

Of course, the logical place to start the healthy shopping trip to the grocery store is at the produce section.  Most large modern supermarkets have huge produce sections, often taking up a large portion of the store.  It is not unusual for the produce section alone to contain hundreds of choices, so it can be difficult to know the best foods to choose.

When it comes to the produce section of the supermarket, however, it is difficult to make a bad choice. That is because almost all fruits and vegetables are healthy, low in calories and delicious.  While there are some high fat fruits and vegetables, such as avocados, they are the exception rather than the rule.

The most important thing to remember when shopping for fruits and vegetables is the old saw that variety is the spice of life.  Trying a variety of different fruits and vegetables, including some you may never have heard of before.

Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is a great way to enjoy a healthier diet without becoming bored.  Many new diets fail due to boredom, but eating a large number of different fruits and vegetables every day can virtually eliminate that problem.

Seek Out Fresh, In-Season Produce: One way to introduce this variety into a healthy diet is to seek out fresh, in season produce on every trip to the grocery store.  Not only are fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables usually less expensive, but the changing variety will help guarantee fresh new recipes week after week.

Avoid Processed Food When Possible: Of course the produce section is not the only place to find healthy, nutritious foods.  The other parts of the supermarket are also full of both good and bad choices.  For instance, when choosing bread, it is best to buy whole grain breads and avoid the more processed varieties.  The same is true of baked goods.  Whole grain products contain large amounts of fiber and other nutrients that the more refined baked goods may lack.

Get The Meat Without The Fat: Important healthy eating decisions need to be made in the meat section of the grocery store as well.  This means buying the leanest cuts of meat you can find.  In addition, extra fat should be trimmed from the edges of steaks, roasts and chops.  You can do this trimming at home, or, better yet, have the butcher do it at the store.  After all, why pay extra for what you won’t use?

Not All Poultry Is Created Equal: Even though poultry is generally low fat, not all poultry is created equal.  Some varieties, like duck and goose, contain significant amounts of fat.  Even low fat poultry like chicken breasts can benefit from some additional trimming.  Removing the skin from chicken significantly cuts the amount of fat and calories it contains.  In addition, using low fat white meat chicken instead of fattier dark meat is a smart move.

When Shopping For Ground Meat, Always Go Lean: When buying ground meats, always try to buy the leanest varieties you can afford.  Ground beef that is 97% lean is a good choice.  In addition, ground turkey or ground chicken makes a good, lower fat substitute for ground beef, and it can be used in all recipes that call for ground beef, including tacos, burritos, barbeque, burgers, etc.

Learning to be a smart shopper is a vital part of enjoying a healthy lifestyle.  No matter your reasons for transforming your eating habits, educating yourself, and learning to shop for foods that are better for your body are a healthy, essential first step. 

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