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Making Right Food Choices While Shopping In Grocery Stores!

Written and reviewed by
Dt. Vishal Wadi 93% (2122 ratings)
Diploma in Clinical Nutrition, Certified Diabetes Educator, Diploma in Sport & Exercise Nutrition, Diploma in Human Nutrition, Lifestyle Medicine, BSC IN LIFE SCIENCES
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Bangalore  •  21 years experience
Making Right Food Choices While Shopping In Grocery Stores!

In present-day urban lifestyle residents are almost 100% dependent on grocery stores to purchase either finished food or food ingredients. Everything put on shelves in these stores look very glamorous, leading to impulse and emotional purchase of some food that are making us very sick. We can attribute modern day lifestyle disorders like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, digestive problems, thyroid conditions etc. directly to these food. Ideally these foods should not be there in stores at all.

These are SOS foods:

1. Sugars

Sugar is sold in many forms. White table sugar is one of it. Many of us think sugar is made of sugarcane, therefore it is natural. NO. Sugar is an industrial product. Sugarcane is just a raw material. Many chemical & bleaching agents are used to refine & make it white. Result - it becomes a sweet poison.

There are so many foods with hidden sugar. Biscuits, chocolates, candies, jams, packed juices, soft drinks, cakes & pastries, so called health drinks, and health supplement powders, all come loaded with sugar.  

2. Oils

Factory made cooking oils are a big culprit. They are sold as refined oils and promoted with so many health benefits. Now we have different kind of oils for different diseases. Diabetes oil, heart oil etc. But in reality they are just artificial lubricants, deprived of all nutrients. We are so used to using oils as cooking medium that we can't even imagine cooking without oil. Once heated, these oils turn into harmful chemicals. 

3. Salts

Not only white salt is an industrial product, salty packed foods like potato wafers, different types of namkeens, breads & biscuits, ready to cook foods contain so much salt that one serving of these foods may give us upto 10 times more salt than we actually need.

Excess salt is a big culprit that leads to high blood pressure, heart disorders & weight gain. 

Most of the snack food on the shelves contain all three of the above. Also most of the foods that we make in our kitchen contains some or all of the above. 

Healthy Alternatives

  1. Sugar: Pure jaggery is much healthier as it contains minerals, vitamins & fibre. No chemicals are present. Jaggery tea tastes much better. Other sugar alternates are - date syrup, raw honey & coconut sugar
  2. Oils: We must rethink about using oil for cooking. Zero oil cooking is possible when we have non-stick cookware. If we must, we should use unrefined cold-pressed oils. 
  3. Salt: Our body needs sodium & iodine, not salt, which can be had from natural foods. For taste, we should use rock salt or sendha namak, not more than 1.5 gms (1/4 of a teaspoon) per day per person.

As for packed foods, we can't stop stores from keeping it, but we can surely resist the temptation of picking them up and tossing in our shopping cart. Educating children also will go a long way in keeping them in good health. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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