10 Cheap And Easy Ways To Eat Healthy

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Photo: Flickr / Z_dead

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No more excuses!

Forget about the tempting smells from the pizza place down the block.

Or how easy it is to pick up a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on the way to work.

These tips make eating healthy not only easier, but often cheaper, too.

Make a grocery list and stick to it

By heading to the store with a clear list of what's necessary, it's much easier to avoid last-minute purchases.

(Some studies say shoppers may still make impulsive buys… but the list can't hurt.)

Feeling techy? Try one of the many apps that can help with shopping, like GroceryIQ or Shopper.

Don't go shopping hungry.

Even after you take the time to write a meticulous grocery list, if that stomach is grumbling so loudly the people in the next aisle can hear it, chances are something surprising's going to jump into the shopping cart.

Avoid succumbing to last-minute cravings (like, say, for lardwiches) by eating a healthy snack (or meal) before heading to the store.

Buy more greens.

On that weekly trip to the grocery store, grab some extra green vegetables for health benefits like a stronger immune system.

They're super-healthy (kale and spinach are bona fide superfoods!) and easy to fit into any meal!

Choose fresh or frozen over canned.

For veggies, soups, and beans, nixing the can cuts out unnecessary sodium. For fruit, it avoids excess sugar. Plus, the fresh stuff always tastes better.

And, perhaps surprisingly, canned produce can actually end up costing more (or at least the same amount) as the fresh stuff!

If you can't grow it or raise it (theoretically), don't eat it.

Monosodium glutamate doesn't grow on trees. Neither does high fructose corn syrup or Yellow No. 5. But at least one of these ingredients is found in many (if not most) of the processed foods on grocery store shelves, from chips to fruit juice. And these ingredients have been linked to everything from obesity and diabetes to brain and liver damage.

If whatever's in that grocery basket couldn't theoretically come from your own backyard, swap it for something closer to the original.

Choose whole potatoes over a box of mashed; pick plain ol' oats instead of pre-sweetened packets.

Choose whole grains.

Avoid sweetened drinks. Added sugar is a big no-no.

Eat naturally sweet food (and don't add extra sugar to it!).

Some of us have a sweet tooth, but instead of indulging in sugar-packed processed foods, choose naturally sweet ones to cut down on sugar cravings later.

Start in the fruit section and choose naturally sweet vegetables like beets, corn, and sweet potatoes (just to name a few!).

Buy in bulk and divide into portions.

Yes, this strategy is mostly a way to cut down on cost.

But buying in bulk -- anything from vegetables, to meat, to grains -- can also cut down on shopping time, so there's more time left to prepare healthy meals.

Stick to the edges of the grocery store.

The outer edges are typically home to fresh produce, meats, dairy, and breads.

The inner aisles usually feature highly-processed items packed with extra sugar and artificial ingredients.

There are always exceptions, of course, but try sticking to the 80:20 rule (80 per cent of the grocery cart from outside the aisles, 20 per cent from inside the aisles) for a healthier diet.

Hungry for more food shopping tips?

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