Navigating the Grocery Store: Part 1
The consumer demand for healthier foods continues to grow – and packaged food companies are responding. For several years, packaged food companies have been working to improve the nutritional profile of many of their packaged foods.
Each year, more and more foods are changed to improve their nutritional profile. The main changes include reductions in sodium, sugar and saturated fat – with sodium being the most-removed item, followed by sugar, then saturated fats.
Healthier ingredients are also being added to boost the nutritional profile of foods – with whole grains and vitamins being the most-added new ingredients.
While it’s still recommended that you do the majority of your shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store (where fresh produce, meats, fish and dairy products are usually found), there is an increasing variety of healthy options in the centre aisles.
Whether you’re shopping around the store perimeter or in an aisle, use the tips in this 3 part blog series to help navigate the grocery store and make healthy – and budget friendly – food choices.
Fruits and Vegetables
Always look for fresh when they are in season. Buy them from a local farmer if possible.
Buy apples and oranges in bags. They are usually less expensive than buying them individually. These are great staples to have on hand every day – as are bananas.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are a great option. I often buy a frozen vegetable mix for stir-fries and add a few fresh vegetables for variety – it’s more convenient than buying all of the vegetables separately. I also look for sales on frozen fruit to add variety to my breakfast smoothie.
Canned fruit is also a good option. Those in light syrup have less sugar than those in heavy syrup. Some of my favourite canned fruits include pineapple (much easier than cutting a whole pineapple), peaches (delicious with cottage cheese) and mandarins (great on salads).
When buying canned vegetables, look for those with the least amount of sodium.
Check out the reduced produce section. Overripe bananas are perfect for baking. Store them in the freezer if you don’t need them right away.