Making healthy choices in the grocery store can be overwhelming.

This is not surprising given all there is to tempt you when shopping, and it can make it difficult to choose wisely. But there are some tricks and tips you can use to keep yourself nutritionally on track as you are navigating the grocery store aisles.

Make a list. Plan your meals and snacks in advance, check your cupboards and make a list of the ingredients you will need and stick to your list when you are shopping. This way you will have everything you need to get you through a healthy and delicious week.

Look at the label. Read the Nutrition Facts Table and look at both the nutrients you should be eating more of like fibre, calcium and vitamins, and those that you want to limit like sodium, fat and sugar. Also look at the ingredient list which starts with the ingredient used most in the product.

Spend a lot of time in the produce aisle. Load up on as many fresh vegetables and fruits as possible. They offer lots of nutrients and fibre. Choose a variety of colours.  And remember that frozen and canned vegetables are also a great option!  They retain the  nutrients and you can keep them year-round.

Make it whole grains. In the bread department look for products that are high in fibre and made with whole grains, and choose whole wheat pasta and brown rice. Make at least half of your grain products whole grain each day.

Choose products high in fibre and low in added fat. Look for cereals, pastas and crackers with more fibre and lower amounts of added fat. Also check out the sodium and sugar levels to make sure they are not high.

Be selective with combination foods. When selecting combination foods such as frozen and prepared dinners, check the Nutrition Facts Table to ensure they are not too high in fat and sodium.

Check for Health Check. Look for the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Health Check symbol. Every product with the logo has met nutrient criteria developed by the Foundation’s registered dietitians, based on recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide.

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