WEIGHT LOSS & NUTRITION

6 Adjustments To Your Grocery Shopping That’ll Help You Lose Weight

  • BY ALLISON YOUNG FOR PREVENTION
    1 / 7 BY ALLISON YOUNG FOR PREVENTION

    Eating healthy don’t always have to cost you more money: We combed the aisles and crunched some numbers to find these six simple food swaps that come with cost savings, nutritional benefits, and sometimes way fewer calories. Some even involve switching to organic. Yep, these are total upgrades.

    Related: Are Fresh Or Frozen Fruits And Vegetables Better For You?

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  • SWAP #1: PITA CHIPS FOR BELL PEPPER STRIPS
    2 / 7 SWAP #1: PITA CHIPS FOR BELL PEPPER STRIPS

    ure, hummus is healthy, but what you pair it with can make a big difference to your wallet and waistline. Take pita chips: They brag about being baked, but just 10 chips give you 130 calories. Swap the empty calories for bell pepper strips, and you’ve got a healthier cruncher. One cup of pepper strips spares you 100 calories and gains you a hefty dose of vitamin C.

     

    “Crunchy raw veggies give the crisp of a chip, but also provide vitamins and filling fibre to satisfy you more quickly,” says Elana Natker, M.S., R.D., a registered dietitian from Washington D.C. 

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  • SWAP #2: GRANOLA FOR OATMEAL
    3 / 7 SWAP #2: GRANOLA FOR OATMEAL
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  • SWAP #3: BABY CARROTS FOR RAINBOW ORGANIC CARROTS
    4 / 7 SWAP #3: BABY CARROTS FOR RAINBOW ORGANIC CARROTS

    Baby carrots may be convenient, but they’re not “baby” carrots at all (real carrots have a tapered end). Not that we’re knocking baby carrots: They’re an easy way to eat more vegetables and get your beta-carotene.

    Going organic means less pesticide residue and more disease-fighting antioxidants—up to 60 percent more, according to one study. Best of all, you get a rainbow of plant pigments from eating not just orange carrots, but also purple, yellow, red, and white.

    “Each color provides slightly different phytonutrients, so you get a slight nutrition advantage that way,” says Natker.

    Related: 6 Fruits And Vegetables You Should Never Peel

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  • SWAP #4: BAGGED POPCORN FOR AIR-POPPED KERNELS
    5 / 7 SWAP #4: BAGGED POPCORN FOR AIR-POPPED KERNELS

    Normally packaged products get a thumbs down for being overly processed and nutritionally void. Not bagged popcorn—as long as you buy plain and not overly buttery, of course. The whole grain, antioxidant-packed snack contains appetite-suppressing fiber and only 65 calories per cup.

    Not bad, but air-popped kernels are even better. At only 30 calories per cup, you can eat twice as much for the same amount of calories but a fraction of the cost (about 65 cents less per serving).

    “You can also control the amount of added salt when you pop your own, which is a bonus for people watching their blood pressure,” adds Freuman.

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  • SWAP #5: PRE-CUT PRODUCE FOR WHOLE PRODUCE
    6 / 7 SWAP #5: PRE-CUT PRODUCE FOR WHOLE PRODUCE

    Buying those bright containers of mixed tropical fruit, cubed butternut squash, and bagged lettuce can mean less prep time and less food waste, but the convenience comes at a steep price. Pre-cut chunks of pineapple, for example, can cost as much as eight times more as buying the whole fruit. Whole produce is also fresher and more flavourful, and a study published in the British Food Journal even found that it packs more vitamin C than pre-cut produce.

    What’s more, you could be losing some of the most nutritious parts of the plant: “Opt for the whole broccoli instead of pre-cut florets and those stalks can make a quick and nutritious broccoli soup,” says Freuman, “or whole butternut squash instead of the pre-cut chunks and you can roast the seeds with olive oil and salt, and enjoy them as a nutritionally-dense snack.” 

     

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  • SWAP #6: BROWN EGGS FOR WHITE EGGS
    7 / 7 SWAP #6: BROWN EGGS FOR WHITE EGGS

    Brown eggs can cost more than double that of white eggs, so they must be better for you, right? Wrong. Truth is, the color of the shell doesn’t elevate the flavor or nutritional profile (both are around 70 calories and 6 grams of protein), it just tells you what kind of chicken laid it—and the breed of hen that lays brown eggs requires more feed.

    “Nutritionally, they’re equivalent, so it’s ludicrous to pay a premium for one color over another,” says Freuman.

    That said, since the quality of a hen’s diet directly affects the nutritional quality of her eggs, free-range or pasture-raised eggs are worth the premium. “They will likely have significantly more vitamin E, vitamin A, and heart-healthy omega-3 fats compared to standard conventionally raised or even organic eggs,” adds Freuman.

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