By Mary Pletsch 11 Oct 2020 no comment 106 Views

Our ancestors would envy our access to food.  Firstly, our grocery stores stock food from around the world.  Secondly, we can enjoy fresh vegetables all year long.  Fianlly, refrigerators and freezers help to preserve our food longer.

And yet, many of us eat the same foods over and over again.  Often they’re highly processed and nutritionally empty.

For the next few weeks, we’ll look at ways to make the most of our trips to buy food.

Think outside the box (store)

Large grocery stores are convenient, but they’re not the only places to get good food.  Consider picking up some of your groceries at a country market or farmer’s market.  Local produce is often very fresh and nutritious.  Also, buying local means your money stays in your community, supporting your neighbours.

Shop the outside of the grocery store

Most grocery stores are organized with fresh vegetables and fruit placed along a wall near the front.  Fresh meat and freshly baked bread rest against outside walls.  Meanwhile, the aisles are filled with processed foods.

This isn’t a strict rule.  For example, you can find salty, heavily processed meats in the deli.  But frozen vegetables from the frozen food aisle are almost as good as fresh.  They are also convenient to have on hand if you can’t always get to the store for fresh.  Generally speaking, though, by focusing most of your attention on the outside of the store, you’ll make it easier to fill your cart with fresh, healthy options.  Then you can venture into the aisles for a few finishing touches.

Read the labels

Do you know what’s in your food?  Labels help you to make informed choices.

Sometimes it’s surprising just how much salt or sugar, or how many calories or trans fats, you’ll find in a previously appealing food!

Think twice about foods with long lists of chemical names in the ingredient listing.  Whenever possible, avoid foods with artificial colouring.

Do you need to avoid a certain food for medical reasons?  That food might be an ingredient in unexpected places.  Would you expect to find milk in lunch meat?  How about wheat in sauce?  The label will warn you away from foods you shouldn’t be eating.

Next week we’ll look at four ways to counteract the temptation of junk food.

 

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