Should you shop only the perimeter of the store?
While it is true that many healthy items are on the perimeter of the store, all sections of the grocery store offer healthy options. At the same time, some of those items on the perimeter are not so great!
Think about your last trip to the grocery store. Chances are the fresh produce section, the meat and seafood departments, and the dairy case were all located around the perimeter of the store. The thought is that you should concentrate most of your shopping time there. Why? Because foods without added ingredients are generally healthier than ready-to-eat foods found elsewhere in the store. While following the perimeter is a good starting point, remember that healthy foods are available throughout the store.
Most grocery stores are arranged with produce on the left or right side of the store, with frozen foods on the other side or in the middle of the store. Chilled products are at the back of the store and meats are usually near the produce. This can give you a general path when venturing around the grocery store…start by loading up with fresh fruits and veggies and fresh meat and seafood (without all the extra ingredients). Look for 100% juice products, low-fat dairy products, and finish with whole wheat pastas and rice, whole grain cereals and frozen, canned, and dried fruits and veggies from the center aisles.
If grocery shopping for a balanced meal confuses you, try these 4 simple rules:
- Choose fruits & veggies of all forms—fresh, frozen, canned, dried & 100% juice
- Choose lean proteins (eggs, chicken, turkey, beans, tofu), low-fat dairy products, and whole grains
- Visit our well-stocked pantry list for a complete shopping list to always keep healthy options available
- Learn how to read a food label