I think it’s safe to say many of us know what the healthiest foods are for us to consume: more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and the importance of eliminating or at least limiting the amount of processed foods we take in. So the first step towards achieving a healthier diet is to have a plan at the grocery store. Here are three shopping tips to help you get a little closer to your goal:

1) Plan Your Meals, Make a List (and don’t buy it if it’s not on the list!)

If we set aside time to plan a week’s worth of meals, we are giving ourselves an opportunity to make good nutritional choices. Then, when it’s time to shop, hopefully we won’t want to throw all that planning away by straying from what’s on our list.

2) Read the Nutrition Labels

Pay attention to the ingredients list as well as how much fat, protein, and carbohydrates are found in the product. Keep in mind also that the less processed a food is, the the less labeling it requires.

3) Shop the perimeter

Next time you go to the grocery store, notice that the whole foods (fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy) are usually located around the perimeter and not in the aisles. Maybe consider challenging yourself to limit the number of aisles you shop in during a visit.

So take your time, stick to your plan of action, and have fun shopping!

*Adapted from “The Healthy Way to Shop for Groceries” in Mother Nature Network by Jenni Grover

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