Shop the Perimeter
Eating raw this week has reminded me of how important it is to “Shop the Perimeter” of the grocery store. For anyone who is looking to create healthier and fresher choices, the easiest way to do so is to stay out of the middle.Why?
The perimeter contains less items that have been processed. You have fresh breads, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh meat, deli meats, dairy and eggs. In the middle you have processed cereals, snacks, candy, condiments, baking items, soda, frozen items and then of course your household items.
It’s a good idea rule of thumb to fill half of your cart or basket up with fresh produce. Then add your meats and dairy to comprise another 1/4 of your cart and finally the last 1/4 you can add in with other items such as breads, pantry items etc.
This also applies when you shop locally. It’s easy to walk away from a farmers market with bags full of cakes, pies, dips, salsas, etc etc and maybe only 1 bunch of carrots. Instead, shop the produce first and fill up the majority of your bags. Chances are you will save money if you do it that way too. Then fill in with a few “splurge” items.
The idea here is to have 50% of your diet containing fresh foods that have not been processed. So when in doubt, forget counting calories or other complicated methods and stick to shopping the perimeter. Trust me your body will thank you.
What percentage of your diet comes from the perimeter of the store?