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5 tips for healthy, simple and delicious grocery shopping

While healthy eating habits are often sabotaged by fast food drive-thrus and tempting desserts, one of the biggest places people sabotage their healthy eating habits is at the grocery store; sometimes without even knowing it. Junky food choices can be chalked up to convenience, impulsiveness or a lack of knowledge, and can be prevented simply by planning ahead. Take these five tips with you next time you hit the store aisles:

1. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry – this is maybe the oldest tip in the book when it comes to avoiding impulsive food purchases, but it’s also the best. If you have a healthy snack before going to the store so those Cheetos will look less appealing.

2. Make a list – meal planning and list making can help you feel less overwhelmed and impulsive when shopping for food. Take an hour or two on a Sunday to plan out healthy meals for the week, then shop for only those ingredients.

3. Shop the perimeters of the store – avoid the middle aisles, which is where the processed junk lies. The fridge, freezer and produce sections often contain the most healthy choices.

4. Read nutritional information and ingredients – just because something is labeled “low fat,” “low calorie,” or “all-natural,” it isn’t necessarily healthy. Avoid processed sugars, artificial sweeteners and chemical preservatives.

5. Try something new – eating healthy shouldn’t feel militant or bland. Don’t keep buying the same things week after week. Make it a point to try a new vegetable or fruit each week to keep things interesting and delicious, and experiment with new healthy recipes.

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