“We all know that food ordered at a local Diner or Buffet can be filled with empty calories and ingredients that aren’t always the healthiest” said Harmony Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health – Laguna Hills (Healing Hands). “By selecting and cooking your own meals, you are empowered to take charge of your nutritional intake which is essential to Holistic Health”, she continued.
According to researchers in Australia who examined the habits of 1, 136 women, food shoppers who made a habit of planning meals made better shopping decisions. The evidence showed that those who pre-planned and shopped with grocery lists ate more healthfully than those who did not. Shopping choices for these women included more fruits, vegetables and healthier product options. The study also found that approaching grocery shopping as a holistic practice to nurture yourself (and your family) as opposed to a chore, made a huge difference.
To ensure that your next trip to the grocery store is one you’ll look forward to, the Faculty at Healing Hands has put together five ‘Insider Tips’. These tips will help you navigate grocery stores and find the best products, so you receive the best return for your nutritional dollar.
Tip #1 – Even those of us who do read labels acknowledge they can be extremely confusing. Fortunately, experts say that as a rule, the fewer the ingredients listed on the label, the healthier the food. So, the best option is to select the product with the shortest list of ingredients.
Tip #2 – Observe your product’s positioning on the shelf. Be aware that the big food companies pay “slotting fees” to position their products on the shelves at eye level. The tactic usually leaves the top and bottom shelves open for healthier, more natural alternatives. So, be prepared to look high and low for the most nutritious options.
Tip #3 –Shop the circumference of the store to find foods with the best nutritional values. In most grocery stores, the healthiest food items can be found along the walls, rather than within internal isles. Fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and fresh meat, poultry and seafood can all be found around the edges of the store. Typically, nutritionally less potent, processed food items are moved to the inner isles, and often can be avoided all together.
Tip #4 – Remember the Nutrition Pyramid and be sure to include your daily requirement of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and low-fat protein sources when planning meals and creating a shopping list. The Pyramid model does not take into account dietary restrictions of all individuals, so learning what YOUR individual needs are, is equally important. Having healthy selections readily available can keep your blood sugar balanced and curb unhealthy food cravings and impulsive eating.
Tip #5 – Beware of deceptive marketing tactics. Many conglomerate companies use words that sound healthy to ‘spin’ the description of their food product. For example, the term ‘Whole grains’ ensures the product has not been refined and stripped of most of its nutritional value. The term ‘Multi-grain’ on the other hand, is deceptive as it may or may not have been refined, so it offers no guarantee of its nutritional value. Learning differences such as these can help you avoid consuming foods with empty calories.
At Healing Hands, our wonderful Faculty inspires students with the most comprehensive massage therapy and holistic health courses in southern California! Please see the full schedule of courses. Founded in 1992 Healing Hands has prepared more than 7,000 Graduates for rewarding careers as Professional Massage Therapists and can do the same for you. If you’d like to learn more about our programs, please contact us.