Grocery shopping can be stressful. It’s crowded, the lines are long, and they are always out of your favorite peanut butter!
Once you add the stress of reading labels and trying to buy “healthy” food, it’s almost too much to handle!
So, it’s not the worst thing in the world, but it can be annoying and cumbersome. I want to make it easier for you! Here are a list of questions to ask yourself when grocery shopping. Once you understand how the answers affect your buying decisions, you will have a smoother and healthier food shopping experience!
1. Does it come in a package?
I am a huge advocate of EATING REAL FOOD. Spend the majority of your time buying food that you can recognize in its original form. I’m talking about fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, and fish. (And yes, I realize that you will not be buying a whole chicken or pig, but you get my point.)
When you buy food this way, you avoid the possibility of added sugars, fats, and chemicals. Plus, did you know that the less processed the food, the less calories our bodies absorb?
Just because a food has a certain number of calories doesn’t mean that we absorb all of those calories. Some of these get flushed out with our feces. And this is more likely to happen with whole foods. For example, studies have shown that we absorb fewer calories from peanuts (whole food) than we do from peanut butter (processed food).
If you are going to poop, might as well poop some extra calories out!
2. Does it have 3 or more ingredients that you cannot pronounce?
I get it, we all need things that come in a package. It just makes everything so much easier, right?
When buying food in a package, the goal is to get it as close to its natural form as possible. Read the food label and look at the ingredient list. You should be able to recognize (or at least pronounce) every word on that label.
Easy enough to read, right?
I don’t know about you, but my brain lost focus after the 3rd ingredient.
That’s a whole lot of crap that is not doing much in terms of nutrition and is potentially causing you long-term health problems.
Put it back on the shelf.
3. Is the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd ingredient sugar?
Food labels are listed in descending order by weight. This means that the ingredient that weighs the most is listed first and it goes down from there.
A red flag should go up if sugar is close to the first ingredient on a package.
Sugar is an “empty calorie.” It may taste good, but it does not fill us up. Therefore, we overeat these super sweet foods which can lead to weight gain.
And beware that sugar is added to a huge variety of foods nowadays. Everything from cereal bars to peanut butter to tomato sauce.
4. Does it have high fructose corn syrup in it?
High fructose corn syrup is also added to many of our packaged foods to make them sweeter. It acts similar to sugar, but it’s long term effects are worse.
I will not claim to be an expert on the effects of high fructose corn syrup. However, from my education with Precision Nutrition plus the several studies and documentaries I have encountered, I know that it leads to weight gain while increasing your appetite, and is linked to diabetes, heart conditions, cancer, dementia, and more.
Look it up. And don’t eat it.
Interested in learning more about grocery shopping, meal prepping, or creating and maintaining nutritious eating habits? Check out my NUTRITION SOLUTION!
Have more questions on health or fitness? Reach out!