Holistic Health Coach on 5 Simple Rules to Shop for Healthy Food

New York, N.Y. When it comes to shopping for healthy food the common rules people know are eat before you shop so you don’t have the tendency to buy stuff you don’t need, make a list of foods needed to carry with you, and stay away from processed foods that have more than 5 ingredients in them. There’s so much more to shopping than those common rules. Even though one may shop at a health food store it doesn’t necessarily mean that all the products are healthy. This is why I provide my clients with an in depth Healthy Food Store Tour guide. Use these five simple rules to get the best out of your shopping experience.


1. Shop Around The Perimeter

 Generally you will find Dairy, Fresh Meat, Fruits & Veggies around the perimeter. Super markets were designed to keep fresh produce around the perimeter and all pre packaged processed foods in the center isles aka the red zone. If you want to get the best best nourishment for your body stay put in the outer isles and don’t get lost in the maze of the center isles where attractive junk food lures you in.

2. Clean Fifteen & Dirty Dozen

As a Health Coach a question that I get asked about frequently is what foods should be purchased Organic, and what’s safe to buy conventionally. To start organic produce is different than conventional produce because it’s not sprayed with pesticides or chemicals, organic produce is grown according to the laws of nature. This traditional form of farming does not use Genetically Modified Seeds (GMO). Conventionally farmed produce are sprayed with pesticides and chemicals, sometimes these chemicals are even thrown over the soil. These pesticides have been shown to be extremely toxic to our body and even has been linked to Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Allergies and so much more. Organic may be better for you but some people have no access to Organic food and when it is available it’s not always affordable especially for big families. 

However, no worries for those looking to save money or eat clean. I’m going to share with you the Dirty Dozen a list of highly sprayed fruits & veggies that are best bought Organic or avoided and the Clean fifteen list of the top fruits and veggies that are the least sprayed and are safe to buy conventionally grown.


3. Understand PLU Codes

You know those little stickers that are found on your fruits and veggies, they generally have a number code on them. That number is a PLU Code also known as a Price Look Up number. These codes are generally used by cashiers to determine the price of the product you want to purchase. They’re also a great indicator of the integrity of your product. For example, if you see an apple with a 5- digit number that starts with a 9, that means your apple is Organic. If your apple has a 4- digit code that starts with the number 3 or 4 that means that the produce is grown Conventionally. If your apple has a 5- digit code that starts with the number 8, that means that your produce is genetically modified and it contains genes from another organism (avoid this at all costs).


4. Become a Food Detective

If you do happen to stumble into the center isles of the grocery store to purchase some cereal, oat meal or granola bars it’s important to become a food detective. Don’t fall for the friendly cartoons on the front of the carton or the classic all natural, sugar free and fat free ads on packaged foods. The only way to see if your food is healthy to consume is by being a detective and reading the labels that provide the ingredients. Here are a few ingredients to avoid:

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): This ingredient can be found in cookies, pastries and even soda.

This ingredient isn’t a natural corn sugar in fact it’s a chemical cocktail made in a test tube that’s cheaper than using real sugar.

Aspartame: You can generally find this ingredient in Sugar-Free products, diet drinks, gum, etc.

Aspartame is a food additive that is classified as a excitotoxin, that can excite brain cells to death. This toxin has been linked to brain tumors in studies on rodents.

Artificial Colors: You can find these in Pharmaceuticals, pastries, cookies, cereals, juices ,etc.

Artificial Colors such as Red dye #3 are linked to cancer and are made from coal tar. That doesn’t sound like an appetizing ingredient.

5. Buy in Bulk

Buying in Bulk can be either a life saver or a burden. If you have a huge family buying in bulk is a blessing. You save more money on nuts, grains and dried beans when purchased in bulk compared to buying per unit. Since these items are dried they also last a lot longer. This can also be convenient cause you may find yourself going on less shopping trips.

May this article help you make more conscious decisions the next time you shop.

Don’t forget real food heals your Mind, Body & Spirit.

By Natacha Gutierrez, Holistic Health Coach and Natural Foods Chef. 

Visit Natachagutierrez.com if you have any queries or want to schedule a Complimentary Nutrition Consult.

Natacha Gutierrez
As a graduate from the Institute for Culinary Education, I earned my certification in Career Culinary Arts, where my love for nutrition was nurtured. Through hands on experience I worked in several restaurants , such as Jean-Georges ABC Cocina, I mastered all aspects of culinary arts. From Baking, Grilling, Saute, Knife Skills, Butchering and Sanitation. It was there, I learned the importance of integrity in a meal with fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients. My passion for real whole foods led me to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I studied a variety of dietary theories and practical lifestyle coaching methods. Since then, I’ve been inspired to help others, which led me to create a business geared towards the betterment of individuals health & wellness as well as their lifestyles. Through my dynamic curriculums you will experience , Tele-classes, workshops, cooking classes, meal prep guides, daily digital support and weekly accountability calls. (www.Natachagutierrez.com)

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