Smart Grocery Shopping

Advance Health Blog

Smart Grocery Shopping

Chris Goetz - Saturday, June 27, 2015

Grocery Shopping Habits Are Changing for the Better

Goetz with CaptionEvery day more Americans are becoming aware of the effects of preservatives, GMO's, pesticides, antibiotics and other unwanted ingredients to that have made their way into the food supply over the years. Shoppers are avoiding these processed foods in favor of naturally grown, unprocessed, and often organic, foods. It is a shift that is making a significant impact on the one trillion dollar a year food industry and getting the attention of the Big Food companies that have dominated the grocery aisles for generations. Consumers are looking for natural, authentic foods and are doubtful that the big food companies can deliver.

Which isn't to say that big food is not trying. Since 2009, the top 25 US food companies have lost more than $18 billion in market share. The latest industry trend is the gobbling up of small natural and organic food and beverage companies by giants like Kraft and Campbell Soup. And retailers like Target and Walmart (the single largest food retailer in the world) are devoting more shelf space to healthier food choices.

Aside from absorbing natural food companies, some large food producers are making changes to make their existing offerings more desirable to the health conscious consumer. Kraft is removing artificial flavors and colors from its popular Mac & Cheese products, Tyson has promised to stop giving its chickens human hormones and General Mills has removed GMO's from its Cheerios line of cereals and reduced the sugar from its Yoplait yogurts by 25%. With these large companies getting into the healthy food game, it can only get better for shoppers.

Healthy Shopping on a Budget

Although, healthy competition should eventually bring prices down, right now buying healthier foods often means spending more. Here are some tips to fill up the shopping cart with healthy foods without emptying your wallet.

  • Plan Meals - Try to plan two to four weeks of meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) ahead of time. This encourages nutritious eating and avoiding unhealthy snacks as well as saves time. Cooking several meals at once is more efficient than making a mess in the kitchen three times a day. When it's time for dinner, you will have a healthy and nutritious meal ready to be reheated.
  • Buy Smart - Clip coupons, take advantage of sales and buy fruits and vegetables that are in season to take a healthy bite out of your grocery bills.
  • Skip the Center Aisles - Healthy grocery shoppers have always been aware of this one. The dairy, deli, bakery and produce departments are generally positioned along the perimeter of the store. Processed foods tend to dominate the center aisles. Avoid those to avoid unhealthy choices.
  • Prepare Healthy Snacks - Cut fruits and vegetables into bite size pieces and put them in easy to take containers. Pack up snack size portions of unsalted nuts as well. Kids especially reach for ready to eat foods when they're hungry. Have healthy snacks available to keep them away from cookies and chips.

With proper planning and good shopping habits it becomes easy to avoid high fat, high salt and sugar, overly processed foods. Take some time to map out your meals and become a smart grocery shopper. It will save you money and help you eat healthier.

Dr. Chris Goetz was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 1990-1992. Having seen the benefits of therapy as he recuperated from his NFL injuries, he decided to enroll in Chiropractic Medicine school and dedicate himself to bringing relief and wellness to others. He has been Owner/Director of Advance Health Services of Miami since 1999.