If you want to make a change in your diet, then your shopping trolley is the place where you should be looking to start.

Cooking healthy meals is only possible with the right ingredients, so it’s important that you make considered purchases that ensure you’re on a good footing. 

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Choosing the right ingredients, however, is easier said than done. Sometimes it’s not totally straightforward knowing which products are the best to buy.

By adopting some simple habits, however, you can give yourself a helping hand in making sure your shopping is working for you and your diet. Here are our top tips for making your shopping healthy.

Make a List and Stick to it!
Perhaps the most important part of shopping whilst on a diet is making sure you plan ahead. Going in without a list will increase the chance of you making impulsive purchases, and impulsive purchases aren’t always healthy!

Don’t Go Shopping Whilst Hungry
Going shopping on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster; you’re more likely to buy more than you need, and also buy snacks that might be unhealthy. Stick to your list and have a meal before heading out.

Avoid Special Offers
Whilst the discounts can be quite enticing, they’re often applied to unhealthy snacks and other products that aren’t going to do your diet any good. It’s always worth spending a little extra to make sure you keep your diet on track.

Stay Away from Processed Food
Processed meats and other foods are often high in fat, and cooked in a lot of oils that have been linked with the development health issues. Try to buy nicer cuts of meat so you can avoid processed products. 

Expand Beyond Your Little Local
If you live near a small supermarket, or corner shop, you may find that your options for healthy food shopping are limited. Don’t be afraid to expand beyond your neighbourhood to find somewhere with a broader choice and more healthy options.
If you can’t find a shop in person, then make sure you look online. For example, you can buy meat online that will be of a much higher quality than what you may find in a smaller shop.

Be Careful With Labels
Whilst carefully inspecting the labels on every food item might seem like a chore, it’s a good idea to have a quick glance at the labels to make sure you’re not buying something with high sugar or fat content.
You should also beware labels that say things such as “low-fat” that may be hiding high sugar content within.

Look For Healthy Snacks
It might be tempting while walking down the confectionary aisle to stock up on cakes and biscuits, but there are healthier options available. Try looking for nuts, dried fruit, or seeds as alternative foods that you can graze on throughout the day. 

Look for Fresh Produce
When it comes to vegetables, meat, and fish, there’s nothing better than it being fresh! Not only will it taste better, but it’ll also encourage you to eat it for fear of wasting it. Have a look around for farmers’ markets, fishmongers, and butchers for locally sourced produce – it’ll taste all the better if you know it’s only come from down the road!

Buy Snacks in Moderation
Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the odd slightly unhealthy snack! If you try and avoid them altogether, you are potentially setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. Just make sure that any unhealthy “cheat” foods you might eat are eaten in moderation.