How you fill your grocery cart can affect your overall health. Decisions at the supermarket determine what you eat. And if you make poor choices with the foods you purchase, the pounds can add up over time.
In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Angie Murad, a Mayo Clinic dietitian, offers four ideas for smarter, healthier shopping.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (0:57) is in the downloads. Read the script.
In one study, customers who ate an apple before shopping purchased more fruits and vegetables.
"It tended to put them in a frame of mind of more healthier options," says Murad.
Murad says it doesn't have to be an apple, but don't shop on an empty stomach ...
"... because you will not make smart choices if you are hungry," she says.
And don't shop without a plan. Bring a list with items for upcoming meals and staples for whipping up last-minute dishes ...
"... like quick whole grains that cook in a hurry, beans and lentils," Murad says.
Include lean protein sources like salmon. Choose frozen fruits to avoid added sugars and plain, frozen vegetables that come without extra sodium. In short: the less processed the food, better.
"You really want to make sure that your purchases are whole foods with simple ingredients," says Murad.
And if something is processed, keep an eye on important numbers for calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar.