Be a Savvy Shopper

spinach

One of the best ways to make healthy cooking a breeze is to be a smart shopper. That starts with planning meals and making a detailed shopping list grouped by the layout of your supermarket before you head to the store. It makes your trip much less stressful (not to mention faster) if you don’t have to backtrack when you’re already at the register because you realize that you forgot the carrots. Concentrate your shopping in the outer sections of most supermarkets—produce, seafood, meat and dairy departments—where the healthiest and least-processed ingredients tend to be. In the freezer section, head for frozen vegetables and fruits. In the inner aisles, go for healthy staples like whole grains, canned or dried beans, canned tomatoes, spices and plenty of tasty condiments. ©

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Keep a Well-Stocked Pantry

When your pantry is full of staples, you’ll find you won’t need to run to the store in the middle of cooking dinner to get a bottle of soy sauce. Plus it makes it easier to improvise a dinner on the fly when you don’t already have something planned. Ingredients like pasta, canned beans and canned fish can be the basis of spur-of-the-moment meals.

Eat What You Love

Eating well is not about deprivation—it’s about that good feeling you get when you eat something that is flavorful, wholesome and satisfying. No food should be off limits. Studies show that depriving yourself of the foods you love, especially in the name of dieting, may cause you to overeat later. Embrace a delicious and healthy way of eating that you can sustain for your whole life. When you bake, limit added sugars. (Added sugars of any kind—whether it’s corn syrup, white sugar, maple syrup or agave—all add calories and don’t offer any nutritional value.) Savor desserts so you really enjoy it without feeling guilty. Bottom line is that maintaining a healthy weight comes down to balancing the amount of calories you eat with the amount you expend during the day.
©2012 DietaryPathways.com