Food shopping, especially in larger supermarkets, often seems like a daunting task. A well-planned grocery list focused on healthy food choices is helpful when it comes to finding the right foods for your healthy diet. According to Iowa State University, organizing your grocery list by store layout helps you find the foods you want quickly and allows you to avoid junk foods and other unhealthy food choices. You will also notice that you spend less time shopping if you bring along a well-prepared grocery list.
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Veggies are low in calories, high in fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals, making them a necessity for a healthy diet. Reduce exposure to pesticides by selecting organic vegetables. When shopping for veggies, you will find many choices in both the freezer section and in the produce section. Buy in-season fresh vegetables to get low prices on the best produce. Potatoes, tomatoes, lettuces, baby carrots, celery, peppers, cucumbers and onions are better when bought fresh. Broccoli, cauliflower, mixed vegetables and green beans are good when frozen. Canned peas, carrots and mixed vegetables are also a healthy and nutritious option that can be stored away for future use.
Fruit provides your body with fiber, potassium, folate and vitamin C. When possible, purchase organic fruits to avoid pesticides. Low in calories, fruits can be eaten with every meal of the day and work well when served a dessert. Apples, oranges, bananas, pears and peaches are ideal fruits for eating fresh as a snack. Watermelon, grapes, strawberries, mango, pineapple, nectarines, kiwi, tangerines and cantaloupe are all healthy fruit choices. Select fruits that are in season to get the best deal.
Eating a diet rich in whole grains may help lower your cholesterol, maintain proper bowel function and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Grains make you feel fuller, which helps you control your weight. Choose whole-grain breads, whole-wheat pitas or whole-wheat or corn tortillas for the base of a healthy sandwich. Eat whole-grain breakfast cereals, pastas and brown rice instead of refined white-flour products to keep your healthy diet on track.
Meats, poultry, seafood and eggs are all excellent sources of protein. Your body needs protein to function properly. The omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood help prevent heart disease. Choose lean cuts of meat and avoid eating poultry skin to reduce the fat and cholesterol in your diet. Nuts, beans and peas are rich in protein and fiber and are a filling side or snack.
Dairy products contain calcium and are fortified with vitamin D, which helps build strong teeth and bones. Milk, yogurt, cheeses and ice cream are examples of dairy foods. Soy, almond, and rice milk are nutritious, calcium-fortified milk substitutes for those following a vegan diet or for people who are lactose-intolerant. Choose low-fat or nonfat dairy products and cheeses to avoid excess saturated fat.
When shopping for healthy drinks, you will find a large selection of juices, sodas, coffees, teas and flavored and bottled water. Avoid soda and sugary juices as they can add up to 150 empty calories per serving to your diet. Low-fat milk and milk substitutes, vegetable juices and fruit juices without added sugar are healthier choices. Plain coffee and tea both contain beneficial flavonoids and antioxidants. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, green tea may help prevent heart disease, and coffee may lower your risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Adding flavoring, whipped cream, sugar and sweeteners will turn your healthy tea or coffee into a very unhealthy drink. Water is always the best choice when it comes to a beverage. Buy bottled water at the market or filter your own tap water at home.