Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips & Checklist

Healthy Shopping Tips *Always ensure you read labels. Look for hidden fats, chemical preservatives, colours, added sugar & salt. Don’t just trust a label saying “Trans Fat Free”, “Low in Fat”, “Sugar Free” – become label conscious about what goes into food choices. *General Rule – do the majority of your shopping in the produce section and on the outside of the market – avoid most inner isles, as this is where convenience products, fast, refined, processed foods are. *General things to avoid – hydrogenated oils, BHT, BHA, artificial colours (i.e. FD & C #4), aspartame, MSG. *Whenever possible, buy Organic. To ensure no pesticides, chemicals, hormones or additives, as well as helping to create sustainable agriculture practices. The earth will repay you with good health. Frequently these products have shorter ingredient lists, as well as containing healthier ingredients with little or no preservatives. Local Food is also a great choice to support economic, social and energy of your community. BUY PLENTY OF Fruits & Vegetables

  • Should be the majority of your purchase – try to fill the largest part of your shopping cart

  • Choose bright colours, lots of variety with different textures and tastes

  • Frozen veggies & fruit are handy when in a pinch for time

  • AVOID CANNED VEGETABLES as much as possible.

BUY ADEQUATE/LIMITED AMOUNTS OF Grains, Breads, Wraps, Bagels, Pasta

  • Choose whole grains, sprouted grains & different kinds of grains

  • There are lots of healthy whole grain options that are tasty and full of variety in texture

  • Try picking up some barley, quinoa, millet, spelt kernels, brown & wild rice

  • AVOID WHITE FLOUR & WHITE SUGAR (includes enriched products, derum semolina, 60% products, icing sugar, brown sugar & items containing these)

BUY LIMITED AMOUNTS OF Dairy, Eggs, Cheese & Related Products

  • Buy Organic as much as possible to avoid hormones, additives & chemicals

  • Look for lower fat options with few ingredients on the label – like cottage cheese, light options of goat cheese feta, sour cream, yogurt (live culture with no added sugar)

  • Try rice, coconut, oat or almond milk instead of dairy – they can be used as you would use regular milk

  • Free run eggs – happy chickens, make happy eggs!

OKAY TO HAVE ON HAND Frozen Food items

  • Frozen Berries & Fruit for when making homemade desserts, muffins or as toppings for whole grain cereals, etc.

  • Frozen vegetables for in a pinch or when making soups and stews

  • Lean meats (un-breaded)

  • Fish (un-breaded)

  • Popsicles can easily be made at home from fresh fruit & or vegetables juices and purees.

  • Try Limited amounts of organic varieties of ice cream

  • Rice, cashew and Coconut milk based “ice” cream are tasty and contain much less saturated fats & sugar than traditional ice cream.

  • LIMIT Frozen yogurt which contains much less fat than traditional ice cream – but use sparingly as it contains high amounts of sugar.

  • AVOID FROZEN DINNERS & MICROWAVE MEALS

HAVE ON HAND, BUT USE WISELY Condiments, Dressings & Miscellaneous items

  • Mayonnaise – try the “light” or vegan varieties - if not able to make your own

  • Mustard – limit to plain which you can dress up with unpasturized honey, maple syrup or cayenne for a little extra zip (once you’re at home)

  • Ketchup should at least be organic, but keep to a minimum

  • Avoid salad dressing – it’s easy to make your own

  • Look for Natural varieties of Peanut butter, nut & seed butters without added sugars or hydrogenated oils.

  • Instead of sugary jams try Apple Butter, or no sugar added varieties (be sure to read the label to avoid artificial sweetener

  • Unpasturized honey is much more nutritious

  • Oils – good buys – olive, grapeseed, sunflower, coconut – look for a dark bottle, refrigerate once opened and use within 3 months.

  • Butter is better – avoid margarine & products made with modified or hydrogenated oils. Ghee is also a great food that can be enjoyed by many who are otherwise dairy intolerant.

  • Vinegar should be apple cider, balsamic, wine or rice vinegars – Avoid traditional white variety

  • AVOID commercial pickled items as they use white vinegar & lots of sugar to manufacture

Meats & Fish