How to Grocery Shop for Better Heart Health

By Kary Woodruff

How often do you go to the grocery store and come away with a cart full of who-knows-what? It happens all the time, and it often means you're grabbing items that are less heart healthy. Let me share a few tips with you on how to grocery shop so you and your family can eat more heart healthy.

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Let's say you’re at the grocery store to buy groceries for the week, and you see lots of samples of unhealthy foods like sausage and cheeses. What do you do?

A: Taste the samples, then decide to buy the products.  You end up leaving the store without any other food items for the week, forgetting the purpose of the trip

B: Snack on the samples, and grab anything else to put in your cart that looks good at the moment

C: Maybe try a sample, or maybe you don (because you just ate a healthy & satisfying snack).  You proceed to talk down the aisles buying what you wrote down on your list

The correct answer is C. It might seem like an easy decision right now, but when you're in the grocery store, the habit of A and B may reign. 

Here are some tips you can use to help you avoid falling for A and B.

1: If we go to the grocery store hungry, we are much more likely to buy more than what we need

2: If we plan out our meals and make a grocery list, we are much more likely to buy the healthy foods we are trying to eat.

3: When we have a grocery list, we tend to have less impulse buys and can save a lot of money on our grocery bills

I recently took Marc West, firefighters with Unified Fire Authority and one of the 15 My Heart Challenge contestants, to a grocery store to share some additional tips and talk through a grocery shopping trip. Check out this video so you can get more tips to make your next grocery shopping trip more heart healthy. You can also watch a webcast I hosted on grocery shopping tips and eating on the go, which provided even more tips you can easily implement.