Give yourselves enough time when you go shopping.
The daily routine of a large part of us today is so dynamic, that we always lack the time to look around and go shopping in an undisturbed and well-considered manner. We often hop over to the shop in our lunch break or we buy something semi-cooked in the evening after work, because we are in a hurry and feel tired. On the one hand, this way of shopping hinders us, because it doesn’t give us the opportunity to look around for the best prices, and on the other hand, it can be even harmful, because usually we don’t pay enough attention to the nutritional information printed on the labels. So we often fill our fridge with not so healthy food. Here are some useful tips you can follow in order to make your shopping healthier.
Healthy shopping guide
Fruits and vegetables.
It will be good if while in the shop you look for brightly coloured fruits and vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and oranges.
They, as well as leafy green vegetables such as spinach and cabbage, are richest in phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
When choosing them you must look for such cereals that contain less than 150 calories in one cup, have at least 3 grams of fibre and no more than 8 grams of sugar per portion. 5 grams of fibre in a portion is one of the best characteristics. The World Health Organisation recommends that 14 g of fibre be taken at every 1000 calories. Fibres contribute to better digestion and improve the maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels.
A very small part of these foods can be called healthy. Muesli that doesn’t contain a lot of sugar is a good option to buy, especially if it contains more walnuts, which are rich in the beneficial to the heart omega-3 fatty acids. Another good choice is popcorn with a low content of fats and salt. It provides all nutritional benefits of cereals and also contain beneficial fibre – as much as 4.3 g per portion. In 30 g of popcorn there are 110 cal and 1.2 g of fats. In comparison, the same amount of potato chips contains 150 cal and over 10 times more fats – as much as 12.6 g.
It’s good to choose baked products containing cinnamon, oregano, thyme and clove for the oils which have anti-microbial properties. It’s also important to use olive oil when preparing baked dishes, since it’s rich in monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. When choosing bread, it’s good to buy wholegrain. Don’t forget that some packages say that the product was made of whole grains but it may contain just a percentage of them. Look for the inscription “100% whole grain”.
Always look at the labels thoroughly when you buy such foods in order to check the ingredients. Your aim is to avoid added sugar, artificial sweeteners and sodium as much as possible. Buy canned fruits with a 100% content of fruit juice and avoid those containing sugar syrup. A good option are canned beans which are rich in proteins and fibre and are also well-boiled and easy to digest.
Meat and fish.
Look for meat from free-range animals fed without added hormones. Of the types of fish, mackerel, salmon and herring are good options which are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
If you cannot afford to always buy only organic fresh fruits and vegetables, a good alternative is to make a mix by adding frozen food. Thus you will be able to save money while providing beneficial nutrients to your body.
It’s important to buy organic milk. If it’s too expensive for you, at least look for milks that do not contain hormones and that is specified on the label. Yoghurts and ready-made shakes are usually full of corn syrup with a high fructose content. Look for Greek or Bulgarian yoghurt and by adding your favourite fruits you can make a wonderful homemade dessert. As for cheese, goat, feta, blue and Parmesan cheese are wholesome.