Dietitian-approved tips for healthy grocery shopping

  • 2 Minutes Read
Joanna Kriehn
Joanna Kriehn, MS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Our healthy grocery shopping tips will help turn an unavoidable necessity into a strategic effort toward improving your health. When you apply these five grocery shopping tips and recognize the "hazards" designed to "trip you up," you'll be able to navigate past the grocery store temptations with a healthy supply of whole foods instead.

Healthy grocery shopping tips

Tip 1: Make a list before you shop to ensure a healthy grocery shopping experience

Developing a list before arriving at the store helps save time and money. Plus, by mapping out a plan ahead of time, you'll reduce impulse purchases.

Tired of making a paper list only to forget the list at home? MyNetDiary has you covered! The shopping list feature allows you to build your list from the app.

Tip 2: Avoid shopping when you are hungry

Do your best to be mentally and physically ready to shop. If you tackle this necessity while hungry, you increase your chances of buying unnecessary chips or sweet snacks, making it harder to reach your weight-loss goals.

One client gave this tip, "I carry a bag of raw almonds in my car. I'll eat a handful of nuts and sip some water before entering the market to take the edge off hunger."

Another client shared that she does her weekly grocery run in the morning, right after eating breakfast. This way, she has the energy and focus needed to stick to her list, and at this time of day, her grocery store is less crowded.

Tip 3: Shop the perimeter of the store

You'll usually find fresh foods around the perimeter of the store. Sticking to the perimeter makes it easier to focus on whole foods like fresh produce and lean meats while avoiding packaged high-sodium, high-sugar food and drinks.

When navigating the grocery store's inner aisles, use the MyNetDiary Food Grade to compare brands and find the healthiest staples such as bread, cereal, soup, etc.

Following a low-carb diet? MyNetDiary's low-carb food grade is helpful to review.

Tip 4: How you navigate the grocery store makes a difference

Did you know that your final grocery bill may increase, depending on which direction you start shopping the store? If you begin on the right side, shopping in a counter-clockwise pattern, studies show that you're more likely to spend $2 more per transaction than clockwise shoppers.

You've probably noticed how common staples like milk and eggs are often placed in the rear of the store, far from the entrances. Shoppers get exposure to more products to get to that distant dairy section. So, don't be swayed by unhealthy impulse-buys along the way.

Most shoppers tend to select foods at eye-level, which is why some brands pay a premium to have their products placed in your direct line of sight, especially the ends of aisles (end-caps). Don't forget to look at the bottom row for more affordable choices.

Tip 5: Enlist online support

If you find that grocery stores trigger extra purchases and sampling that lead to overeating, shop from the comfort of your own home -one of our favorite healthy grocery shopping tips. By ordering online, you don't have to worry about ordering while hungry since you can place your grocery order whenever you want, and schedule a pickup or delivery at your convenience. With little to no service fee, online shopping eliminates the wafting smell of freshly baked bread and towering display of chips or other temptations.

We hope these healthy grocery shopping tips set you up for success the next time you head to the store or even your digital device.

Additional resources:
Healthy eating on a budget
Affordable protein options that won't break the bank

Adapted from original content by Ryan Newhouse, health writer, MyNetDiary

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Apr 5, 2021

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