A healthy diet starts with the foods you buy. If you’re new to eating clean or don’t know where to begin in cleaning up your diet, then learning to successfully navigate through grocery stores is a good place to start. Shopping for healthy foods doesn’t have to be hard!

In today’s article, I’m talking about six tips that will help guide you in healthy grocery shopping.

1. Avoid junk food aisles

Avoiding the aisles that contain junk food means that you’ll be less likely to buy these food products. And if they’re not in your kitchen cupboards then you won’t be tempted to reach for them when you’re looking for a quick snack to satisfy hunger.

2. Buy local foods that are in season

Produce that’s grown locally not only tastes better, but it also retains more nutrients since it can be harvested riper than foods that have to be transported over longer distances. Of course buying local isn’t always possible, especially if you live in a colder climate that cannot grow fresh foods year-round. However, you can still buy the fruits and vegetables that are in season wherever they’re grown and imported from – for example, navel oranges from California during the winter months.

3. Visit local farms and farmer’s markets

There’s nothing better than farm-fresh foods and supporting local farmers. Fruits and vegetables contain the most nutrients right after picking, and slowly decrease in nutrient content the more time passes after harvesting. Buying directly from farmers instead of grocery stores means that you’re getting the freshest produce and the most nutrients possible!

4. Minimize late-night shopping trips

Although having grocery stores being open late is convenient, it isn’t the ideal time to be shopping for produce. Often times the produce found later in the evenings is not fresh and has been sitting out all day. Try to schedule grocery store trips first thing in the morning, or at least earlier in the day. This way you’ll have the first pick on the freshest fruits and vegetables.

5. Make a shopping list

Planning your meals for the week not only saves you time at the store, but also ensures that you stick to a healthy, balanced diet. Planning your meals allows you to quickly see what foods you’ll need to stock in your kitchen and also helps you avoid last-minute runs to the grocery store because you forgot a certain item. If you have a list of foods to buy when you go to the store, you can stay on track and avoid wandering through the aisles and potentially buy something unhealthy.

6. Read the ingredients list

Reading food labels is extremely important for avoiding unwanted ingredients, since many processed foods contain artificial additives, preservatives, and sugar. Stick to packages that contain a small list of ingredients and avoid anything you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce.

Do you have any other tips for healthy grocery shopping? Share in the comments below!

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