When you hit the grocery store, are you only shopping the perimeter?
You might be missing out by not venturing down those center aisles! It’s not new advice, and when pursuing a “whole foods approach” to eating, this can in fact be very helpful. Sure, the fresh produce is on the outside, but so are end caps with impulse buys, and sale items that may or may not work for your health. The good news is that there are worthy items lurking in those middle aisles that just so happen to fit reasonably into a healthy lifestyle. Here’s our take:
Stick with the perimeter for:
– fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs
– dairy staples such as eggs, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese and milk
– other types of milk such as soy and almond
– whole grain baked goods from the store bakery (but be sure to check the label for freshness)
– frozen fruits and vegetables
– meat, including lean cuts of poultry and beef
– frozen vegetarian products
– whole grain frozen waffles
Venture to the middle for:
– nuts and nut butters
– whole grain cereals
– whole grain pasta
– brown and wild rices
– beans (canned and dry)
– tuna – cans and pouches
– other canned lean meats
– dried fruit
– no-salt-added canned vegetables
– vegetable/chicken/beef stock
Clearly the payoff comes from shopping the entire store, and knowing what items meet your needs for taste as well as nutrition. It’s too simplistic an instruction to advise staying on the edge of the store when benefits exist in the inner aisles. Of course, the more items we see, the more likely the experience can be overwhelming, which takes us back to another piece of shopping advice: always use a list.
What’s your best grocery shopping advice?