Forty-three thousand, eight hundred forty-four. This is the number of items in an average modern-day grocery store according to The Food Marketing Institute. You read that right: 43,844.
And guess what?
Most food manufacturers and grocery stores don’t have your best health interests in mind.
In this for-profit multi-billion dollar industry, you have to look out for yourself.
You need a plan. Now, you’ve got one. Here are our Top 7 Healthy Keto Zone Grocery Shopping Tips.
Tip #1: As you enter the grocery store, realize that you are not on neutral ground.
The store is designed, from the location of products and aisles to the sales and advertisements to make you spend money.
Most times, the design increases the sales of unhealthy, processed foods (1). It’s these foods that increase profits for the store and manufactures the most.
You must be informed and make good choices. If you go in on the offensive, you’re much more likely to come out a winner.
Tip #2: Have a plan so you can get in, and get out quick. Your plan should be a list based on the healthy Keto Zone foods and menus you’ve created for the day or week.
The more time you spend on it at home, the less time you’ll spend in the store.
The more time you spend in the store, and the more items in your eye’s view, the more you’ll buy.
This is not a joke, a guess, nor a hypothesis. It’s down to a science.
According to Marianne Neifert, author of “What to Eat,” great research is put into figuring out how to make customers see and buy more. There’s a reason why the pharmacy, the milk and meat, and other “staples” are furthest from the entrance. The more you see, the more you buy.
Tip #3: You’ve likely heard this one before: shop the perimeter of the store (mostly). This is where you’ll generally find the least-processed items.
Think about it. The cheese, eggs, meat, and vegetables are all on the perimeters. For the most part, the unprocessed foods with singular or minimal ingredients are in the perimeter (mostly).
And you can stay in the Keto Zone as you skip the “grains” aisle, and choose perimeter vegetables like cauliflower and zucchini in place of grains.
Then, with running shoes on, only “dart” into the aisles for well-thought-out foods that are also minimally processed (healthy oils, nuts, frozen vegetables, etc).
Tip #4: When you pick up a “processed” product or one that is in a box, bag, or container, close your eyes and ignore everything on the front label. Then, turn it around and look at the ingredients list.
This is where you can start to find the truth. If you are happy with the ingredients, you can then move onto the nutrition label to make sure it fits within your goals for nutrition.
Tip #5: Pick the Plain Janes. This is one of the Keto Zone grocery shopping tips that will also save you money!
When buying processed products, buy the “plain” ones. Plain yogurt. Plain or only salted nuts. Plain frozen vegetables.
There’s a plain reason: the less a food manufacture puts in, the less risk of nasty, chemical, junk ingredients. The more artificially colorful, artificially flavorful, even artificially nutritious, the more trouble.
This is not to say you have to eat plain yogurt plain. But rather than Blue #40 and high fructose corn syrup, you can add a Keto Zone friendly sweeteners, nuts, and a few berries.
Tip #6: Be even pickier about oils and fats. Perhaps the biggest issue with processed foods? As we’ve discussed in this post, soybean oil is one of the main contributors of omega-6 fats in modern American’s diets, and omega-6s directly compete with anti-inflammatory fats in the body (2). Where is the soybean oil? Only in almost all processed condiments and foods, especially dressings, margarine, and ready-made meals. When following Tip #4 and reading the ingredients list, search out and leave behind anything with soybean, corn, and vegetable oils.
Tip #7: If you’re on the Keto Zone diet, you’ll want to figure out the best places to buy healthy fats ahead of time and save money. Often, fresh healthy fats like avocados, creams, and butter are best found in your grocery store or local vendors. But, you can often find better prices on nuts, coconut oil, and other fats online. Shop around when needed.
The grocery store and its 43,844 items don’t have to be the enemy, but you do need to be ready and prepared. Go in with a Keto Zone shopping list and plan, buy single-ingredient and minimally processed whole-foods, double-check ingredients, load up on healthy fats…then, get out quick.