The Health Advocate

by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

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A healthy diet does not happen by accident. It is the culmination of many strategic steps that help to keep nutritious foods available for your family at all times. Ensuring that your refrigerator and pantry only contains healthy foods may take a little more thought and bit more discipline, but the payoff is better nutrition for your loved ones and a lower risk of medical problems. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for a healthy diet for your family.

Make a List

You can avoid many of temptations encountered while walking through your supermarket aisles by making a list in advance of your visit and sticking to it as closely as possible. If you pick an extra item or two, don’t be distressed. It’s okay to buy an occasional treat, but try to stick to your original intentions as closely as possible. If you have a hard time avoiding temptation, you might consider looking for a grocery store that offers grocery pick-up or delivery services; this may cost a bit more money, but it will save you on time and prevent you from buying anything on sale that you wouldn’t have bought in the first place.

Read Labels Carefully

Many foods that are labeled “lite” or “low fat” that may make up for some ingredients by adding excessive amounts of sugar or other sweeteners. Always read labels carefully to understand what goes into the food you eat, the number of calories and the average size of portions.

Stock Up on Produce

Spend the most time of your supermarket visit in the produce department, choosing vegetables and fruits that will provide the most nutrition for your family. If you have vegetables in your refrigerator, you will be likely to add them to soups, stews and salads. Easy access to fruit will encourage your children to do healthier snacking. You might consider hiring a nutrition coach through a program like Plan 7 Coaching for more tips refined to your situation.

Choose Products with Fewest Ingredients

Health experts recommend purchasing foods with the lowest number of ingredients you can find. Processed foods often contain long lists of ingredients that may include thickeners, fillers and preservatives that do not provide nutrition and can be harmful to your health. Choosing products that have the least number of ingredients will ensure that you consume compounds that fill your nutritional requirements.

Keep Basic Ingredients on Hand

Health experts recommend avoiding processed foods to ensure better health. If you keep basic ingredients, such as flour, oatmeal, honey, brown sugar and nuts on hand, you will always have the opportunity to provide healthy food, free of additives and excessive amounts of sugar, salt and fat. You will be able to make your own version of many popular snacks, but with fewer calories.
Americans are blessed with an abundance of food and wide range of choice in products they can purchase. This variety can also create problems that can result in poor eating choices, obesity and a variety of health issues. If you implement these tips, you will find that bringing home healthier options is an easier task. You can then be assured that your family is getting the right nutrition to support good health.

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