Smart Food Shopping

Shopping for healthy foods can be overwhelming. However, knowing how to be a smart food shopper can make grocery shopping for healthy items easier and less time-consuming.

Tips to Being Smart Food Shopper:

  • Make a list of needed items before heading to the store.
  • Shop on the store's outer aisles. This is where the healthier food items usually are located.
  • Try to shop at the same store. Once you are familiar with a store, you'll save time looking for items.
  • Have a regular shopping schedule.
  • Avoid shopping on an empty stomach. This will lessen temptations to buy unneeded and unhealthy items.
  • Read food labels! Look for items that are low in calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium and added sugar, and for items high in fiber. To learn how to read a food label, see How to Read a Food Label.

Food Items to Put on the Grocery List:

  • Fresh fruit or canned fruit in water or natural fruit juice (not syrup)
  • Fresh or frozen non-starchy vegetables
  • Low-fat dairy products, such as fat-free milk, low-fat or non-fat yogurt, and reduced-fat cheese
  • Whole grain breads and cereals
  • Lean meats or fish

Food Items to Avoid in the Store:

  • Processed foods, "heat and serve" items and convenience meals - These tend to be high in sodium. Try to make these items at home or look for a low-sodium version.
  • Canned vegetables - These also tend to be high in sodium.
  • Canned fruit in syrup - These items are high in carbohydrates.