Monday, November 16, 2009

Supermarket Smarts

By: Liz Plosser You walk into the grocery store with the best intentions, yet you always seem to leave with a bunch of unhealthy fare. No, it's not that you're lacking in willpower, it's that marketers' clever tactics actually work. You can sidestep the most common supermarket traps with these simple strategies. • Have a healthy snack before you shop. Studies show that when you're hungry, everything looks and smells especially good. Nosh on a healthy snack and you'll be less vulnerable to tempting fare. • Make a list. Take 15 minutes before you shop to plan out your meals for the week—and not just dinner, consider your snacks, breakfast and lunch dishes, too. (If you join Best Life, you get a shopping list generated for you.) Once you have a menu of meals, make a list of the food you'll need and bring it with you. Shopping from a list can help cut down on impulse buys. • Shop the perimeter. Stick to the outer sections of the supermarket, where the healthiest food—think fruit, veggies, fish, poultry and dairy—is found. Processed foods like chips and soda usually reside in the center of the store, notes Marion Nestle, Ph.D., in her book What to Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Food Choices and Good Eating (North Point Press, 2007). • Don't supersize to save money. When researcher Brian Wansink, Ph.D., gave people at a school cooking fundraiser a big box of pasta and large bottle of spaghetti sauce, they prepared 23 percent more food (around 150 calories more) than a separate group that was given medium-sized packages. • Read the labels. In one of Wansink's stuides, people in a supermarket were offered samples of two snack bars—one with health claims (Reduces risk of heart disease!) and one without. The bars were exactly the same calorie- and nutrition-wise, but the ones with health claims on their wrappers were gobbled up more readily. Make sure to read the ingredient list. Article courtesy of Bob Greene's Best Life


Queen of hearts said...

and also...never go grocery shopping with an empty stomach. LOL!

abby jenkins said...

I've been known to eat a half bag of SmartFood before I leave the market if I go with an empty stomach.

If I am not in a rush, sometimes I like to bring a fave cookbook and peruse the recipes and create meal plans while I shop. This happens about twice a year, but it is nice. Silver Palate books are good for that.

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