Are You Shopping The Right Way?:Your Grocery Store Habits

-Kartika Yadav

If you’ve noticed, bread, meat, dairy products, and leafy greens are all kept at the edges of the grocery stores. Processed foods on the other hand are stacked in the middle. Shoppers tend to spend more time in the middle of the stores, filling up carts with junk food.

Waddling around the grocery store, stacking piles of food products in your cart with familiar food products like Nutrella, a bag of potato chips, a can of sweets like Gulab Jamun, and so on is not uncommon. But, perhaps, this is exactly where you’re going wrong while in the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.

Grocery shopping is a chore that’s necessary and unavoidable if we are to manage any household. The constant flow of food supplies in the home has to be there. It is a usual task, yet, there are a lot of mistakes that we make when it comes to shopping at supermarkets or grocery stores. We make New Year resolutions to be fitter and healthier, but we forget about the minor details of our routine that we’re doing wrong.

Eight such grocery habits that are unhealthy and ruining your lifestyles are discussed below:
Not planning ahead of time: Not planning beforehand on the groceries you need for the week might lead to a hasty purchasing. You are more likely to shop for unhealthy food products, and in the wrong amounts. You should also plan on buying products keeping everyone in the family in mind. For instance, someone in the family might be diabetic, requiring sugar-free fruit juices, while a younger child might need flavored milk.

Not making a list prior to the shopping: Making a list of what is required for the household, and what is essentially healthy is an important thing to do before you head out to shop for your groceries. It helps to differentiate what is good and bad for our health, giving us a clear perspective beforehand. Otherwise, we just end up buying and eating food that’s unhealthy for our body system. A good shopping list can actually be a key to a quick and painless trip to the grocery store.

Not buying seasonal foods: It is actually more economical when you buy seasonal food than those out of season. It’s less expensive and more nutritious, since the fruits and vegetables that are available out of season are treated with chemical fertilizers. Thus, it is a much healthier choice to opt for seasonal and organic food.

Eating a lot of junk food: Outside many supermarkets and grocery stores, you’ll find tempting ice cream or fried food stalls. The calorie-rich convenience foodstuff might add up to your weight in just a day’s indulging. So, the lure of junk food is always there, but you need to think of what’s best for your health and budget.

Going to the store hungry: Every foodstuff looks inviting and delicious when you’re hungry. It’s one of the most common mistakes that shoppers make while going to the grocery store. You pick up high calorie convenience food that you may regret after eating them. Thus, going to the store after you’ve taken your breakfast or lunch is advised. You can choose foodstuff that is healthier and required, rather than the instant processed food you would crave when hungry.

Buying meat, dairy products way too early before consumption: Produce like dairy, meat, fish, etc. should be consumed within 24 hours of purchase. The nutrient values and freshness of such food is best in that period of time. While shopping, only the amount that will be consumed within the first two days should be purchased.

Not shopping at the peripheries of the stores: If you’ve noticed, bread, meat, dairy products, and leafy greens are all kept at the edges of the grocery stores. The processed foods, on the other hand, are stacked in the middle. Shoppers tend to spend more time in the middle part of the stores, filling up carts with junk food. There are some healthy foods like pulses, muesli, brown rice, etc. that should be prioritized though. Rather than wandering about every aisle, it is better to know which aisles store what food, and stick to them to resist temptation. For instance, that of chocolates and potato chips!

It’s not easy to change the habits that we’ve adapted to since so long. Loading the shopping cart with food that we’ve always been buying, howsoever bad the impact they might be having on our health, can be tricky. But it’s all about making those changes and learning to shop better and minimizing health risks, aside from saving a lot of time.

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