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Guideline For Food Shopping

Guideline For Food Shopping
Which foods should I always have at home? 
 
A growing variety in today’s supermarkets makes it harder to choose what will end up on our plates. However, it is essential that we take healthy decisions and fuel our body with nutrient-rich foods. 
 
Here are some things to consider before, while and after you are food shopping including a list of essentials that you should always have at home in order to follow a balanced nutrition: 
 
Before shopping: 
  • Plan ahead: Planning all your main meals and snacks throughout the day e.g. at the beginning of the week ensures a varied diet, respecting the proportions and avoiding repetition of meals. Plan your meals with seasonal foods in mind. 
  • Get organized: Make a shopping list, taking into consideration the food you still have at home.  
  • Take your time: When making healthy diet changes for you and the planet, one of the most important factors is making the right choice. Buy local, seasonal and low-processed foods.  
  • Eat something: Before you go shopping, have a small meal. If you go shopping hungry you might tend to buy food you don't need. 
 
While shopping: 
  • Check and stick to your shopping list - buy only what you need. 
  • Refrigerated / frozen products are the last products to put in the shopping cart 
  • If you have the capacity to store dry products (like beans, pasta, rice ...) buy them in bulk. For the fresh ones the shopping can be weekly. 
  • Check the expiration date. Choose those that have a longer shelf life. 
  • Check the nutrition label for the energy value, amount and type of fat, sugar and salt content. Make healthier choices.  
  • Give preference to fresh foods (can also be freshly frozen) over processed foods - fresh foods are a nutritional advantage. 
  • When choosing fruits and vegetables, always prefer seasonal products, as they are cheaper and nutritionally richer. 
  • Don't waste - when buying perishable food we should think about the exact quantity we need. 
  • Cash tip: Compare prices of similar products. Be aware of promotions at the place where you buy food. When comparing prices, don't forget to check the unit price value. 
 
After shopping: 
  • Store food immediately in order to preserve its freshness / quality. 
  • Divide food into portions according to planned meals to avoid waste. 
  • Use the foods with the shortest expiration dates first. 
 
What foods should I always have at home? 
Grocery essentials should have high nutritional value and durability: 
  • Fresh Vegetables: e.g. Bell peppers, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Corn, Cucumbers, Garlic, Ginger, Leafy greens, Mushrooms, Onions, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Tomatoes, Zucchini etc. 
  • Fresh Fruits: e.g. Apples, Avocados, Bananas, Berries, Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Peaches, Pears, Pineapples etc. 
  • Frozen Vegetables & Fruit = great alternative to fresh produce 
  • Protein: e.g. Eggs, Beans, Chia seeds, Chickpeas, Edamame, Ground flaxseeds, Hummus, Lentils, Nuts, Nut butters, Peas, Seeds, Tahini, Tempeh, Tofu 
  • Dairy products or alternatives: Milk & Yoghurt with probiotics 
  • Grains: e.g. Bread, Quinoa, Noodles, Pasta, Rice, Oats, Tortillas 
  • Canned goods: e.g. Beans, Chickpeas Coconut milk, Corn, Lentils, Peas, Tomatoes - whole or diced, Tomato paste 
  • Healthy snacks: e.g. Dried fruit, Granola bars, Nuts/seeds  
  • Oil & Spices: Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil, Basil, Black pepper, Chili powder, Cinnamon, ground Coriander, ground Cumin, ground Curry powder, Garlic powder, Onion powder, Oregano, Paprika powder, Rosemary, Sage, Salt (iodized), Turmeric, ground Thyme 


Author: Cármen Nogueira, Patrícia Couceiro CHUC


References:
Direção Gerald a saúde. Alimentação Inteligente: coma melhor, poupe mais. DGS.  https://alimentacaosaudavel.dgs.pt/activeapp2020/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Alimenta%C3%A7%C3%A3o-inteligente-Coma-melhor-poupe-mais.pdf 
 

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