Many people don’t have access to farmers markets, health food stores or other organic grocery stores such as Whole Foods (my favorite). You can still makeÂ healthyÂ choices at chains such as Kroger, Wal-Mart, Tom Thumb, Randalls, etc. but you just need to educate yourself on the right products to pick. Most of these large chains have an organic section and sell many of the products I list below – you just have to look. If they don’t have them, ask for it. If the public (aka you) demands it – they will eventually have to carry it. Over the next few weeks, KHOU morning news anchor Lily Jang and I are going to show you some of the best choices to choose when you shop.
Healthier Grocery Store Deli Options
Avoiding Fatty Foods
Â Cari’s Top 10 Tips For Shopping Smart
Here are my top 10 tips (#1 is most important) for making healthy choices that will impact your body and overall health. You may end up spending a little more, but isn’t your health worth it?
#10 Chose organic and rBGH (growth hormone) free milk. When the cows aren’t treated with antibiotics and steroids – that usually means they are healthier. We still don’t know the long-term effects of putting added hormones and steroids into our bodies so why take a chance?
#9 You don’t have to do 100&% organic. When it comes to produce, pick organic only if you are going to eat the exterior. For instance – choose organic when it comes to apples or grapes (because you eat the exterior that was potentially treated with chemicals) but not bananas or avocados (you will discard the exterior).
# 8 When it comes to meats – chose organic as well. It’s going to be pricer, but the quality of meat is much better. Plus, if the animal lead a healthier life and was treated better – you’ll feel moreÂ satisfiedÂ with that steak and you’ll also be helping the planet.
#7 Avoid Fat-free. Usually when a company makes a fat-free version they add more sugar and other ingredients to compensate for the taste. Go for the real stuff (or reduced fat if nothing else is added) and just have less.
#6 Chose cage-free eggs. Most Americans eat a lot of eggs (including me) – so why not make a simple choice that’s better for animals and our environment? Organic is good – but hens that are allowed to roam free (says “cage-free” or “free-roaming”) are happier, healthier and produce better tasting eggs. I loveÂ Pasture VerdeÂ here in TX. By the way, brown eggs are the same as white – they just come from a chicken with brown feathers vs. white (more popular in commercial breeding).
#5 Load up on fruits and veggies first (usuallyÂ at the perimeter of the store) and then venture into the middle aisles last (where most of theÂ processedÂ foods are).Â If it comes in a box or bag – don’t get it. This is a simple rule. It’s hard to do, but the fewerÂ processedÂ items you get – the better.
#4 Don’t buy any drinks. Avoid juices, sodas, bottled teas and other products in a can. Stick to water. If you need something else, try sparkling water, coconut water or brew your own coffee or tea. The others are loaded with sugar and other crap.
#3 Try new things! Don’t buy the same foods every week and expect your body to change. Try a new fruit, veggie or protein source (ever looked for Tempeh? Walmart has it!). Get creative.
#2 Read that label! It’s not always the calories and fat that matter – but check sodium (less is better), sugar (you should aim for less than 30-40g a DAY) and fiber (the more the better).
#1 Less ingredients = better! So many supermarket foods have an ingredient list that’s a mile long. If it has things in it that you can’t pronounce – put it back! If your brain can’t recognize it – neither will your body and that’s not good.