Every day, we are inundated with relentless advertising about food products that we should put in our cart. From grocery flyers and coupons, to commercials on social media and television, the food industry spends billions influencing the brands we buy, and the types of food that we eat.
The problem is that many high-profit foods for manufacturers, are low benefit for our health. Take a look at the kind of foods that are advertised, from sugary breakfast cereals, to sodas and high-sodium sports beverages. It is the unhealthy stuff that is advertised the most, and that influences us to buy them more often; to the detriment of our health. When was the last time you saw a really cool commercial for high-fiber fruits or salad?
When you are trying to reach your weight-loss goals, trips to the grocery store change. They get a little longer, as you start to read the labels of the foods you are buying. People who are successful at losing weight (and keeping it off) have to invest this extra time to read ingredients, and understand some of the misleading information on labels, in order to find the best ‘nutritional bargains’ to buy.
We did a little research on the grocery shopping habits of healthy eaters, to share with you.
Start in The Fruit and Vegetable Section
Our bodies rely on antioxidants like glutathione (produced and recycled primarily in the liver), to address chemicals and toxins that impact our cellular health. Free radicals are ‘the bad guys’ that can be the precursor to many chronic diseases and health risks. Think of antioxidants as the antidote, or a big army that cleans out every nook and cranny, helping your body get rid of toxins.
The problem is that as we get older, our ability to produce and recycle glutathione and other antioxidants declines. If there is no nutritional support to keep our glutathione and antioxidant levels optimized, our cells have to function while impaired by the damage caused by free radicals. Atherosclerosis (development of plaque in the arteries) and cancer are two salient, or well-known diseases that are caused by free radicals.
Foods that are high in antioxidants are natural sources, that include dark green vegetables like spinach, blueberry, dark colored grapes (purple and blue), sweet potatoes, orange foods (peppers, squash) and beans. Did you know that green soybeans, lentils, kidney beans and black-eyed peas are also rich in fiber, folate and zinc? Plan your meals around the fresh fruits and vegetables you have at home and aim for at least 50% of your meal to be comprised of the two healthiest food groups.
Finding Fresh Meat and Healthier Proteins
There are types of proteins that are healthier than others, when it comes to fresh meat and seafood. The popularity of the Keto Diet has been partly responsible for some misinformation about the health benefits of protein. No, you can’t eat ‘bacon wrapped bacon’ every day and expect to be healthy; but you can learn how to balance plant-based and animal proteins.
Fish is a great nutritional bargain, because it is an easy-to-prepare and healthy protein, that also provides omega-3 fatty acids (which help protect against inflammation and coronary heart disease). But processed fish (battered) loses much of the nutritional value, so opt for fresh fish wherever possible Choose lean beef products and skinless chicken portions and consider reducing other types (including pork) that have a higher fat content.
For more great tips, check out this article on WebMD, that can help you create a list that will help you navigate your favorite grocery store, and include all the top quality ‘nutritional bargains’ for healthy eating.