Shopping for Food That’s Good for You

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage people to eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean sources of protein and dairy products; choose foods low in added sugars and solid fats; and limit salt intake.

Grocery bag with healthy food insideShopping for healthy food may require a little planning. Start with a shopping list. Throughout the week, keep a list of the food you need. Stick to a list to stay within your budget and avoid buying on impulse.

Shopping for healthy foods – especially fresh fruits and vegetables – might be hard where you live. People who live in rural areas or some city neighborhoods often have trouble finding supermarkets, and smaller markets or convenience stores may have limited selections of fresh foods. Let the managers know you and others are interested in buying more fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk, and whole-grain products.

Fruits and vegetables might cost less at a nearby farmers’ market or vegetable stand. Consider joining a CSA, or community supported agriculture group. Membership groups like this help you to buy in-season produce directly from farmers. To find a CSA or local farmer’s market in your area, check out Local Harvest. You also can search for farmers’ markets online.

To save money when grocery shopping:

  • Use coupons, but only for things you’re buying any way.
  • Consider store brands – they usually cost less.
  • Focus on economical fruits and vegetables like bananas, apples, oranges, cabbage, sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, and regular carrots.
  • Choose less red meat, processed foods, baked goods, and snacks. Save money and make smart food choices!

Quick Tip

Check food labels to see which foods are healthier; for example, high in fiber, low in sugar, low-fat, or whole grain.

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