Grocery Shopping Myths

These are the 9 grocery shopping myths everyone should know.

Myth 1: Organic is always healthier.

Organic food can mean fewer pesticides for your family, but there’s no real evidence that it’s more nutritious. If you’re planning to go organic, start with apples, peaches, lettuce, and spinach.

When they’re grown conventionally, they can carry more pesticide residue than other produce. Worry less about fruits and veggies with skin you don’t eat, like oranges and avocados. Organic or not, make sure to wash produce well.

Myth 2: Go whole grains or nothing.

Whole grains are healthier than refined ones. They’re usually a better source of fiber and keep you full longer. You don’t have to change everything immediately, but at least half your family’s grains should be whole.If you are not used to the taste, start by buying white, whole-wheat bread.

What is more, try familiar whole grains like non-instant oatmeal and unbuttered popcorn. The next step is to buy pasta that’s a blend of whole and refined grains.

Myth 3: Pass on the sweets.

You don’t have to ban desserts from your house simply make them healthier. Fruit with a bit of dairy topping, a serving of low-fat pudding or reduced-fat ice cream. A small portion of candy with nuts or fruit — like dark chocolate with raisins — can even add a few nutrients to your diet. Just keep the tempting calorie-dense cakes and cookies to a minimum.

Myth 4: Low-fat means healthy.

Products claiming to be “low-fat” often have a lot of ingredients that make them a less-healthy choice. Before you buy them, check the package’s Nutrition Facts panel. Avoid foods high in sodium, sugar, fat, trans fats, saturated fats, and calories.

Eat just one serving. This means half a cup of ice cream or one scoop.

Myth 5: Stay away from juice.

If your family wants juice, choose 100% fruit juices. A much better idea is to make your own, freshly squeezed juice.  Keep drinks labeled “fruit juice drink” out of your cart — they’re usually full of sugar and empty calories.

Furthermore, drink just one 4- to 6-ounce glass a day, because even 100% juice can add up the calories.

Myth 6: Avoid red meat.

Lean meat has healthy nutrients like protein, iron, and zinc. The key is to eat the right amount:

  • 2 ounces a day for 2- to 3-year-olds
  • 5 ounces a day for 9- to 12-year-olds
  • 6 ounces a day for adults

To get the right portions, you may need to buy smaller amounts or freeze what’s left. Use meat as a side dish in your family dinners, making veggies and whole grains the centerpiece of the meal.

 Myth 7: Fresh produce is best.

Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as their fresh versions. They’re frozen at peak ripeness, which preserves their nutrients. If you buy canned fruit and veggies, rinse them before you eat them to cut back on added sugar.

Myth 8: Dairy is fattening.

Dairy products contain fat, cholesterol, and calories, but they also provide calcium, protein, and vitamin D. To get the benefits without the downsides, choose low-fat and fat-free milk, yogurt, and cheese like string cheese and part-skim mozzarella.

When you shop, compare yogurt labels and choose brands with less sugar per serving.

Myth 9: Skip the pasta section.

Low-carb diets make pasta the enemy, but cutting carbs for growing bodies isn’t wise. Instead, buy some whole-wheat pasta to boost fiber. Try adding low-fat cheese and low-fat milk to whole-wheat macaroni or bowties for healthier mac and cheese. Or simply put tomato-based sauce and vegetables, like mushrooms, broccoli, or zucchini for another option.

These are the 9 grocery shopping myths everyone should know.

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