Tonawanda News — It happens to all of us.
You’re at the grocery store, scanning the aisles for that perfect snack or meal idea. Before you are hundreds of choices laid out and competing for your grocery budget. This item purports to be low fat, that item claims it provides all the fiber you’ll need ... and those just plain look good. You want to make the right choice ... but just how do you do that?
March is National Nutrition Month, and in honor of the occasion, Naheed Ali-Sayeed, manager of clinical nutrition at Kenmore Mercy Hospital, is putting together a Lunch & Learn class on making healthy grocery-shopping decisions for associates/volunteers at the hospital. She recently shared some tips for making those decisions at the grocery store — although the first one starts before shoppers even set foot outside their homes.
Planning is key
“I think the most important thing for people, if possible — because I know it’s hard — is planning,” Ali-Sayeed said. “If you have a plan for what meals you want to prepare, you can make a list so that when you get to the grocery store, you’re not just walking around selecting things you really don’t want or need.”
She suggests picturing your grocery store beforehand and mentally mapping out the route you need to take so you’re not wandering aimlessly (and perhaps picking up impulse buys). And that’s where the next tip comes in.
Shop the perimeter
Many of the items for which shoppers with healthy goals should look are located around the edges of the most usual grocery-store layout. Ali-Sayeed said that circuit involves hitting the produce section, choosing fresh vegetables and fruits if possible, then the meat department for lean meats and fish and the dairy department for lower-fat products.