Grocery shopping and having a well-balanced diet can be a challenge when you’re short on time and don’t enjoy getting creative in the kitchen. At least, that’s what you’re probably telling yourself.
The truth is, you don’t need any more time than you already have. Neither do you need to learn how to cook. All you need is a good understanding of what makes up a balanced diet, the willingness to change your habits, and some of the useful grocery list hacks below.
Change up Your Shopping List
If you want a balanced diet, you need to shop for a good balance of nutritional foods. That’s easier said than done if you’re comfortable and stuck in your ways of buying the same things every week.
The important things to consider when making a shopping list are:
- Include every item you need so you know exactly what you’re buying
- Adding new and different foods each week to provide a more balanced diet
It’s going to be a challenge at first, but once you’re in the habit of trying new foods there’s no turning back.
Buy Frozen Food When Possible
There are lots of reasons why you should buy frozen over fresh foods. The only detractor is having to wait for them to defrost when you want food on demand.
Some of the benefits of buying frozen include:
- Frozen foods are generally less expensive than fresh
- You can keep food frozen for months without passing its use-by date
- Freezing food helps retain sensitive vitamins and nutritional content
- Foods frozen at source don’t have preservatives and additives like fresh foods do to keep fresh longer
You can either buy food already frozen or freeze your leftovers and foods you don’t want to use within the few days they remain fresh. It’s a much easier and more efficient way to have a wider range of food available.
Try New Cuisines and Meals
How often do you try new foods? Most people stick to a few set meals they know how to make well, as it’s comfortable and easy. But there are an almost endless range of possibilities out there, especially if you want to start making your own creations.
By trying new foods you’re going to get a much broader and more balanced diet. You can make it fun too. For example, try a healthy meal from a different country’s cuisine every Monday.
Read the Labels on Foods
Reading what’s actually in the foods you’re buying is a good habit to have. Companies don’t necessarily lie about how good for you their products are, but they aren’t going to advertise the sugar or additives content either.
It’s especially good if you’re trying to choose between a store brand and national brand, or two similar products. Go for the one with the lowest sugar and salt content as a rule if you’re trying to improve your diet.
Don’t Buy More Than You Need
An important part of getting a balanced diet is not overeating. Around 35% of Americans are now obese, it’s a serious problem with some serious health implications. Not having a balanced diet is the core cause of becoming overweight for most people.
Working on your weight requires a number of lifestyle changes, but it starts with your diet. Start by only buying what you need between now and when you next go shopping, as well as avoiding all those foods you know are bad for you.
Educate Yourself on Good Nutrition
It doesn’t do any harm to educate yourself on what exactly good nutrition and a well-balanced diet is. Food manufacturers and retail stores spend most of their marketing budget advertising “junk” foods and sweet things they know we can’t resist. So, it’s normal to want bad foods before good foods.
With a better understanding of what a balanced diet is and the positive health implications of eating well, you’ll be inclined to make the right choices when creating your grocery list.
One last thing
Although this doesn’t pertain particularly to your grocery list, one hack is to eat before you shop. Shopping for groceries while you are hungry can influence the purchases you make based on your cravings. Increase your chances of purchasing only nutritional foods to ensure you’re eating a balanced diet.