One of your goals of following the Fresh Express Salad Swap may be to eat healthier. In addition to meal planning and setting specific goals, it helps to keep a well-stocked pantry and kitchen. Before you head to the supermarket, find out some of my top tips for navigating the store and filling your grocery cart with foods that will help you feel great!
- Write down your grocery list. Once you’ve planned your meals for the week, make a written list of the ingredients you need to purchase to cook everything you need for the week. One way to save time: organize your list by category. This way you can get all your produce, for example, at once before moving on to other aisles.
- Shop after you eat. People who shop when they’re hungry are more likely to buy more than they need and less healthy foods, especially those that are advertised and on sale.
- Read labels. Before you throw packaged goods into your cart, take a look at the Nutrition Facts Panel and the ingredient list, usually found on the back of packages. The labels may seem confusing, but if you focus on just a few of the key nutrients it’s more manageable. For example, look for foods high in fiber and protein and low in saturated fats. And when it comes to ingredients, remember the higher up the ingredient is on the list, the more of that ingredient there is.
- Shop the perimeter. You can find healthy foods in almost every aisle of the supermarket, but generally speaking the produce, dairy, meat, and fish are sold along the perimeter of the store.
- Buy in-season fresh produce. When fruits and vegetables are in season, they are more flavorful and less expensive than out of season produce.
- For out-of-season produce, head to the freezer aisle. Frozen produce is flash frozen as soon as it’s picked in order to preserve the nutrients and flavor. As opposed to canned vegetables and fruit, fresh are not high in sodium and added sugar.
- Look for whole grains. Choose breads with the words “whole-wheat” as the first ingredient and look for at least 2-3 grams of fiber per slice of bread and at least 3 grams of fiber per cup of cereal.
By Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN for Fresh Express