I’ll admit, I actually love to go to the grocery store and buy healthy foods, so I wanted to share with you some of the top things you should never buy at the grocery store. Many people actually hate shopping for food. I don’t understand this, but do understand why. Most of the time, buying food can seem like a dent in the budget, take up too much time and thought, and just generally get in the way of people’s schedules. Therefore, many people pick up unhealthy convenience options because they just want to hurry up and leave. The grocery store markets to impulsive customers and uses processed, convenience foods to do so. They’re on the end of every aisle, corner and even at the checkout line. Keep these 11 things you should never buy at the grocery store out of your cart, and you’ll be well ahead of the game. Don’t forget to be sure to pick up some healthy options instead.
1. Frozen Meals
Frozen meals are one of the top things you should never buy at the grocery store. Frozen meals are packed with sodium, chemicals, preservatives, unhealthy fats, refined sugars and refined grains. Even some organic options can have too much sodium or fat. Don’t buy diet foods either, which may be low in calories but are high in sodium, and not enough food to fill you up. Buy frozen foods such as plain frozen chicken, frozen fish, plain frozen veggies, plain frozen fruits and base your meals off these foods instead of frozen prepared meals.
2. Vegetable Oils
Vegetable oils such as canola, soy, peanut, vegetable oil and safflower oil are all high in unhealthy Omega 6 fats. These oils are also one of the top causes for weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and inflammation. Along with vegetable oils, don’t buy vegetable oil spreads that are often marketed as diet butter alternatives. Stick to extra virgin olive oil, flax oil, coconut oil and organic grass fed-butter and coconut butter, which are far better options than the processed stuff.
Cookies from the grocery store are in no form or fashion good for you, nor will they fill you up. Who can eat just two cookies, seriously? This is often the portion size on most cookie packaging, and even organic cookies are high in refined sugar, refined grains, or are just seriously lacking in nutritional value, which means they are a waste of your money and calories. Try healthy snack options like Larabars or dried fruit and nuts instead of cookies.
4. Frozen Yogurt
Frozen yogurt is a code name for sugar. Frozen yogurt is one of the highest sugar sources of all frozen foods and can even be higher in sugar than ice cream. Instead, opt for no sugar added varieties, or even better, opt for some Greek yogurt, freeze it for an hour and add some fruit to sweeten or a little nut butter for a heartier treat. It will satisfy your need for a cold, creamy treat and contain much less sugar than the stuff in the freezer aisle.
5. Boxed Mixes
Cake mixes, muffin mixes, and even gluten-free boxed mixes are high in refined sugars, refined flours and GMO soy and corn. These foods do nothing for you nutritionally and are a waste of money. Make your own versions of these at home, or simply choose alternate snacks and foods.
6. Artificial Sweeteners
Quit buying artificial sweeteners altogether and you’ll feel like a new person and save money too! Instead, use small amounts of natural sweeteners like stevia, honey, or even coconut sugar, which is low glycemic. Use these sparingly, and try to limit your intake of sweet foods, which just make you crave more sugary foods. Artificial sweeteners are especially bad because they’re chemically processed and have been linked to cancer, ADHD, diabetes and even autism. Stick with the good stuff and keep it real!
7. Non-organic Dairy
When choosing smart dairy choices, stick to organic versions, which are guaranteed free of hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, chemicals, and come from cows that are usually fed grass-fed diets. This will make buying healthy dairy options a breeze. I especially love organic yogurt and kefir, which are excellent for your immune system and your health. If buying alternative dairy foods, just be sure to avoid too much sugar, but don’t worry so much about organic and you’ll be fine. I especially love unsweetened vanilla almond milk and coconut milk for healthy dairy alternative options.
8. Salad Dressing in a Bottle
There are tons of different reasons why buying dressing in a bottle might not be the best thing to do. Firstly, you don’t know exactly how it is made -- therefore you don’t know exactly what’s in it. Did you know that you can actually make salad dressing using just a few ingredients? That way, you can make it super healthy and you can even decide exactly what you want in it! Salad dressing in a bottle might taste good, but do you really want something that might not be as healthy as the label states?
9. Whipped Cream in a Can
Whipped cream is so, so easy to make for yourself, so why go through the stress of buying whipped cream in a can? Buying this particular product is not only unhealthy, as you have no real idea what is in it, but have you thought about how long it has sat on the shelf? All you need is some whipping cream, some vanilla, sugar (or another sweetener of your choice), and you’ll see just how easy it is to make your very own whipped cream!
10. Hot Cocoa Mix in a Bag
Hot cocoa is another thing that you can make yourself, so why buy it at the supermarket? Nine times out of ten, you could end up with insects in your hot cocoa mix, which is gross. Plus, who knows exactly how healthy it is? Again, because it’s incredibly easy, try making your own and storing it in a glass container. Then, you can control exactly how much sugar is used!
11. Pre-Ground Coffee
Finally, the last thing that we’re going to talk about is pre-ground coffee beans. Coffee beans are so easy to grind up if you own a grinder and they taste so much better. Buying pre-ground coffee beans can make them go a little flat and they even lose a ton of flavor! So, grind your own and see how those taste!
There are many unhealthy foods at the grocery store like prepackaged snacks, meals, candy, and sugary beverages. The great thing is, there are also a lot of healthy, tasty foods to eat at the grocery store instead. Concentrate on filling your cart with the good stuff like veggies, fruits, organic dairy, organic meats, wild fish, organic eggs, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, and whole grains or gluten-free grains. You’ll be well on your way to actually enjoying your meals more, your body more, and your grocery store more. What foods do you avoid at the supermarket?