Do you dread going to the grocery store? Are you overwhelmed and confused with all the food choices you have? Do you wish you had a nutritionist by your side to help you to fill your up cart healthfully?
Grocery shopping should be a fun and easy task to check off your to-do list. And it can be when you become a savvy shopper and know how to make better, healthier choices!
Let’s review the 5 reasons you should join a grocery store tour!
#1: Don’t get tricked by the food packaging
Did you know that a food manufacturer can label food as having ZERO TRANS FAT even if there IS trans fat in the food? It’s true!
Just because a package claims to be fat-free or sugar-free doesn’t mean that the claim is true or that the food is healthy for you. This applies even if the food is in a green package with the word “Natural” in big type on the front of the package and there are pictures of farms or hearts on it.
On a grocery tour, you can grab your go-to foods and take a good look at the packaging. Learning to understand and use the nutrition label, ingredients listings, and health claims on packaging will help you make informed food choices.
Food producers can make health claims about certain nutrients (such as fiber, fats, and sodium) and while these claims must be based on scientific studies and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, that doesn’t mean the food is a good choice overall. That “heart-health approved” food may be low in sodium to earn that claim… but it still may be high in sugar and not so heart-healthy after all.
A grocery tour can show you how to dig deeper into the packaging and compare products with a nutritionist at your side. You will leave confident that you can choose the healthiest foods for you and your family
#2. Learn about food processing, food marketing, and how food impacts your health and weight
How do they make chickens lay eggs with omega-3 fats in them?
How in the world do they add fiber to yogurt?
What is the difference between Sugar In the Raw, Table Sugar, Stevia, and Splenda – and which one is the best choice for your health concerns and preferences?
How do they make FairLife Milk have more 50% more protein and 50% less sugar than traditional milk?
What actually happens if antibiotics end up in dairy milk when it’s being transported?
And… how many almonds are really in that glass of almond milk you drink?
A dietitian is your go-to for this kind of information. You will learn not only about how food impacts your health, but how it is produced, changed, fortified, stripped, shipped, and marketed with the hopes of grabbing your food dollars.
#3. Navigate the grocery store like a pro
When you first enter your grocery store you are greeted by all the bargain bins and the smell of freshly baked bread, or maybe fried chicken.
Deals! Deliciousness! Let us in!!
Grocery stores are doing this on purpose with the hopes that you will make more impulse buys while in the store. Those bargain bins at the door entice you to not miss a good deal – even if it isn’t something on your list.
Those delicious smells are there to turn on your appetite.
Have you noticed the music yet? Listen next time you go… it’s there to make the experience more relaxing in hopes you will slow down and stay longer.
The store’s layout is also designed to increase your impulse purchases.
- The aisles are long and sometimes hard to maneuver. Ever run your cart into a bin in the aisle with a sale item?
- The end caps are also a main driver for impulse shopping as they are prime real estate and food manufacturers pay a hefty fee to have their items placed there.
- Even the real estate on the shelves is “for sale” to food manufacturers. Why do you think the brightly colored sugary children’s cereals are at their eye level?
- How much space a product gets on the shelves? You guessed it. Paid for. Notice a pattern yet?
- Products are displayed beautifully, shelves are fully stocked, and there are big, bold numbers on those bargain priced sales signs at the top saying “buy me!” Sometimes these items are not a bargain, so go for it! But sometimes they are just new or seasonal items.
You may have heard that you should shop the perimeter and outside areas of the grocery store. Well, sure but you may be missing out.
Healthy foods are hidden in some inside aisles if you know where to look and how to read the packaging. Grocery stores group like items together to help make your buying decision easier. So check out the aisles! Frozen, canned, boxed, or dried – look for fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, herbs, spices, shelf stable meats, dairy foods, and those wonderful bulk bins – they are all waiting for you to find them in the middle of the store.
#4. Make better-for-you food decisions with a nutritionist
Aisle by aisle, a licensed nutritionist will help you make healthier food choices by showing you how to read labels, introducing new ingredients, answering your food and nutrition questions, and providing grocery shopping and meal planning tips and tricks.
If you have been wondering about that new cold brew coffee or the pre-made overnight oats or egg cups, a grocery tour is a great chance to figure out if those products are worth a try.
Or if you know that there is too much salt in the soup that has been your go-to for lunches, you can compare different brands and types of soups with a nutritionist pointing out how to choose the best option for your health concerns – or budget!
You will walk away empowered to choose the best brands and foods to use nutrition to reach your health goals.
#5. It’s fun!
Grocery tours give you a chance to get together with a few friends – or make new friends – in a hands-on practical way. The goal is to raise your awareness of healthful food choices and teach you how to eat more healthfully.
Grocery tours are interactive – each one is different! Your questions guide what the tour covers so you can be sure to get what you need from the tour.
Who knows? You may even discover new foods and try something that you have never had before!
Ready To Go?
If you’re convinced that you need to hop on board for a grocery store tour then come out and join N.E.W. Motivation Coaching!
Our tours are focused on making the healthy choice the easy choice – while still helping you put delicious food on your table. One of our coaches will lead the tour and be available to answer any questions as well as give you tips and suggestions – and some recipes!
A grocery store tour can be one of the best learning experiences you can have to understand and improve your nutrition to reach your goals and live a healthy lifestyle.
Check our Calendar of Events or follow our FaceBook page for information or go to Eventbrite to register for our next tour. Next up is Heart Healthy Proteins on October 23 at 9:00 and 10:30 or on October 27 at 9:00 at the Nocatee Town Center Publix.
This is a guest blog by Vanessa Tarbell, University of North Florida Undergraduate Nutrition Student.
Building a Healthy Diet with Smart Shopping. nutrition.gov. website https://www.nutrition.gov/subject/shopping-cooking-meal-planning/food-shopping-and-meal-planning/build-healthy-diet-smart-shopping. Accessed September 28, 2018
Label Claims for Conventional Foods and Dietary Supplements. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. website https://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/ucm111447.htm. Accessed September 29, 2018
Choose MyPlate.gov. United Stated Department of Agriculture. website https://www.choosemyplate.gov. Accessed September 28,