How Healthy is Your Shopping? This Easy 1-Minute Test Tells You

I’ve been doing my filing recently (there was a small dwelling sized pile of paper in the corner of my office so had no choice) and amongst it all, I came across this fantastic quick tip from US dietitian Cynthia Sass that can help you see quickly, how well what you’re buying each week will help you reach your goal.

Woman making shopping list containing healthy foods on a notepad

What to Do

She suggests that when you get home from food shopping, you do a bit of analysis to help you determine how healthy your haul is.

She says to get three different coloured pens and highlight your receipt say green for fresh foods, pink for packaged but healthy foods like low-fat yoghurt and yellow for the stuff that’s not so healthy.

If at least 75% of your list is green or pink, chances are you’re eating well. If not, see how you can swap the yellow items for healthier alternatives.

I’m thinking you could adapt this making your categories fit any goal…

So, say you’re trying to lose weight;

*Anything eaten by rabbits is green

*Anything eaten by cavemen is pink

*Anything eaten by contestants on the Biggest Loser before they enter the programme gets coloured yellow.

Again, aim to 80 percent of your list as pink or green and you can’t fail.

Or, if you’re eating to raise your energy

*Anything packed with B nutrients, low GI carbs or high in iron is green  *Anything protein-packed should be yellow and a tiny portion should be added to each meal

*Anything with caffeine, sugar, refined white flour is pink as it’s going to lead to your energy bouncing about like a yo-yo.

Try it Yourself

Think of your goal, think of the foods that will 100% get you there.

They are green.

Think of foods that will get you there, but need moderating for some reason. They are yellow.

Then isolate those that won’t help you reach your goal, or actively fight against it. They are pink, leave them on the shelf people.

Who is The Wellness Nerd?

My name is Helen Foster and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.

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