Helpful Hints To Healthier Grocery Shopping


Years ago I heard that the best foods, in terms of health value, are in the periphery of the grocery store. The middle sections have more pre-packaged, calorie laden foods often loaded with sodium, sugar, and needless fats — including the yucky trans fats that increase your risk of heart disease. Then I looked. Low and behold, what I had heard was exactly right. Think about what’s on the periphery:

  • Juices
  • Dairy products
  • Fruits and Veggies
  • Fresh and Frozen Fish

So that’s where I start. It’s not that everything in this area is healthy for you, but just that it’s great to do this as the first part of your shopping experience.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

But I added something to it. Instead of doing as I used to do — starting at the spot where you walk in — I now do something different. I go right to the opposite end of the store and shop backwards. I go against the flow of traffic.

Why? It makes me think about what I’m buying. Too often we get into a routine and just shop without thinking about what we’re putting in to our cart. We get used to certain foods which may not be the healthiest choice for us. Thoughtful shopping is better shopping.

Other tips:

  • Go after you eat. You’ll buy less junk.
  • Shop your big shops when you’re not rushed. (I personally like to shop at 8 PM. The store is still loaded with cashiers, so I can get in and out fast, but the evening crowd is done.)
  • Avoid the cookie/snacks aisle unless you’re having company: It’s too enticing.
  • Make it fun! I do that by plugging in my iPod and then dancing down the aisles (not really, but I think that I’m dancing).
  • Try something different that’s healthy. That’s the only way to go from your teenage junk habits to proper adult eating. Experiment a bit!